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Abandoned boy 'not abandoned': prosecutor

TT/Oliver Gee · 18 Jan 2012, 13:06

Published: 18 Jan 2012 13:06 GMT+01:00

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According to police reports, the father had stayed nearby and did indeed drive home together with his son on the Saturday evening of January 7th.

Conny Eriksson, a coach for the local adult floorball team Sirius, had claimed that he had found the boy alone in the freezing cold outside of Uppsala’s sporting hall, Fyrishov.

The child allegedly told Eriksson that his father had driven home without him, due to his bad performance in the game. The story sparked outrage in the press countrywide.

However, the investigation found that the 10-year-old had become upset as his team was losing and stormed off before the match was finished.

After the game, the father asked him to change into his regular clothes for the trip home, and the boy refused.

As the 10-year-old ran in an opposite direction, the father told him he would drive home alone, but never intended to actually leave him.

The father had reportedly asked a supervisor to watch the child as he went to pack up the car, which was parked behind the stadium. He claims he allowed the boy this time to "cool off" after the game.

However, the boy thinking himself alone, told Eriksson that his father had abandoned him and driven home to Stockholm (some 75 kilometres from Uppsala).

Story continues below…

According to the report, the supervisor who was keeping an eye on the boy then took him around to the car where his father was waiting and the two made their way home.

The prosecutor has now chosen to close the case due to the fact that there is no longer reason to suspect a crime has been committed.

TT/Oliver Gee (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:42 January 18, 2012 by RobinHood
The father may now enrich himself by extracting large amounts of money from the posters here at the Local who have libelled him. Libel is a criminal offence in Sweden. Ironic or what?
14:47 January 18, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
I would have thought the father would just want to get on with life, myself
18:32 January 18, 2012 by Keith #5083

This is not Sherwood and since the man's identity was never revealed he would have a very hard case to prove he had suffered any libel or injustice.

It's nice to get a rational answer to the events. At least the Father can comfort himself that so many people had an interest in his child's welfare.Maybe the boy learnt a lesson also as he is sure to be embarrassed at causing his dad so much discomfort.Hey,Ho,growing up can be such a pain!

All's well that ends well.
20:02 January 18, 2012 by RobinHood

Your understanding of both Swedish libel law, and Swedish criminal law is incorrect. If I were you I would avoid libelling anyone at all, in Sweden, or Sherwood.
20:39 January 18, 2012 by babashki

What happened to freedom of press and freedom of speech ?

You may not like what i have to say, but i have a write to say it.

In many ways, this is a breech of freedom of speech. And that in turn is discriminatory.
22:04 January 18, 2012 by skumdum

Sweden do not have libel laws.
02:26 January 19, 2012 by Keith #5083

So tell me, like I was a 10 year old standing in the cold, how it is possible to libel an unidentified, anonymous person or persons? Tell me how an anonymous person can prove that a statement, which made no claim to be fact, on an opinion/comment board could possibly be the 'tort of libel and be specifically targeted at themself?

In order for such a claim to succeed, even in Swedish Law, there has to be an 'injured party'. Since no party is identifiable then the whole scenario becomes that of fiction and not fact.

The law does state, though:

" However, if the libellous statement was justifiable with regard to the public interest and the statement was true or the speaker had reasonable grounds to believe it was true, there is no liability. Opinions and value judgements can never be libellous" ( Press law and Practice,Axburger,Sweden). It may also be a 'criminal offence' as you put it,but prosecutions are extremely rare being brought by the Chancellor of Justice and usually only when a libellous action was directed toward a specifically named/identifiable Civil Servant.

Naturally, I will bow to your superior knowledge if and when you can quote to me the specific paragraph of Swedish law to which you refer.

I am not all 'a quiver' at your cheap 'shot' against freedom of speech, Robin :-)
08:37 January 19, 2012 by Puffin
@Robin Hood

Although there may be insufficient evidence to secure a conviction as one word against another - there are still confusing aspects that don't fully add up

- by the father's own admission the child had been told that he had been left

- if there was someone supervising the child why did this person not intervene when he observed the distraught child telling a member of the public that he had been abandoned?

- why did the father tell the person who ringed him on his mobile that he was driving home because his son had played badly?
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