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CRIME

Longer sentence for man who killed ‘by mistake’

The 37-year-old man who claimed he accidentally killed a 17-year-old girl during a sex act "that went too far” was given a longer sentence by the Swedish court of appeals on Friday.

“I think this is a good verdict,“ said deputy prosecutor Yvonne Rudinsson to news agency TT.

She had argued that the 37-year-old should be sentenced to life but said she could both understand and accept that the court of appeals ruled for fixed term imprisonment.

“Generally it takes a lot to get over the mark to a life sentence. I still felt that there was a point to have it tried,” Rudinsson said.

In February the man had been charged with murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, as well as with child rape in connection with a separate incident from 2007.

In May, the 37-year-old was convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, but the rape charges were then dismissed.

The 17-year-old “Johanna” was found dead in a wooded area outside Lindshammar in southeastern Sweden after a major police operation in August last year.

Johanna and the man had made contact via the internet, she wanted to be a model and he claimed to be a photographer.

The contents of the man’s computer also provided evidence that he had had contact with a large number of women and that in several cases, he had pretended to represent a fashion company and wanted to take their pictures.

After the forensic investigation was carried out, investigators concluded that Johanna had been strangled to death in the 37-year-old’s apartment and then dumped in the woods.

The man maintained that Johanna’s death was accidental and occurred in connection with a sex act that went too far.

But in May the district court completely rejected the explanation given by the 37-year-old that he had placed a noose made out of an electrical lead around Johanna’s neck while having consensual sex.

Instead they supported the prosecutor’s theory that the man strangled the girl with his bare hands. In order to kill her he must have held on for at least three minutes, which made the court conclude that he intended to take her life.

The motive was believed to be jealousy and the man was said to have shown a strong inclination to exert his control over the girl.

Scratches on the 37-year-old’s arms and skin fragments under the victim’s nails also indicate that she had tried to fight him off and defend herself.

The district court didn’t think that the murder had been of such cruelty to warrant a life sentence. But neither were there any extenuating circumstances, and they therefore they sentenced him to 16 years in prison.

But the prosecutor, wanting a life sentence, appealed the verdict.

On Friday the court of appeals sentenced the 37-year-old to 17 years in prison and also convicted him of child rape for the 2007 incident, a charge of which he had previously been aquitted.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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