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Swedish kid's TV host fined for cocaine use

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Swedish kid's TV host fined for cocaine use
12:42 CEST+02:00
Swedish children's television star and magazine editor Ola Lindholm was convicted and fined 1,500 kronor ($227) on Monday for cocaine use in a case which has left him out of job and in the media spotlight.

Lindholm received his penalty at Solna District Court in Stockholm on Monday where his conviction for minor drugs offences was announced.

The case dates backs to April when Lindholm, then presenter of the popular Sveriges Television (SVT) adventure show "Wild Kids" and editor-in-chief of the main Swedish children's magazine Kamratposten (KP), was arrested in the car park of Råsunda football stadium after attending a top flight football match.

After raising the suspicions of police officers in attendance, Lindholm submitted to a blood test which established that he had 1.9 microgrammes of bensoylecgonine per millilitre in his urine.

The presence of the substance was sufficient proof that Ola Lindholm had taken cocaine on April 10th, 2011 or a few days before.

Benzoylecgonine consists of ecgonine benzoate, and is the primary metabolite of cocaine.

After media exposure of his case, Lindholm was forced to resign his posts as editor-in-chief of KP and as presenter of "Wild Kids".

Lindholm has maintained his innocence throughout, and despite criticism of his stance, declined to explain to the court how the offending substance came to be in his blood.

On a Sveriges Television chat show last week, Lindholm explained that his decision to refuse to testify in his defence was "his right" and that it was "more important" for him to maintain his privacy than risk paying a few thousand kronor for a conviction.

In Lindholm's eyes, he had already been convicted in the eyes of the public following all the media attention surrounding the incident.

"In all the headlines, it says 'after the drug scandal'. If you, as a media consumer, haven't been watching since the start and read every single word, then it's clear that I'm guilty in the eyes of the public," he said on SVT's Hübinette talk show.

The court wrote in its statement that it found it hard to evaluate Lindholm's claims that he did not consciously consume the drug as he was unwilling to divulge any details.

Aside from the fine, Lindholm was also ordered to pay 500 kronor to a fund for the victims of crime.

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