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ENGLA

Murdered girl’s mother to sue Swedish state

Carina Höglund, mother to 2008’s 10-year-old murder victim Engla, is suing the government for its inability to protect her daughter in what she claimed was a preventable attack.

Murdered girl's mother to sue Swedish state

Höglund is taking the government to the Stockholm District Court on the grounds that police had information about her daughter’s killer, Anders Eklund, from a previous rape and murder case in 2000, yet did not act on the tips.

“What the Attorney General is saying is that we cannot expect the police to work beyond their own regulations and that they don’t need to be held accountable for their mistakes,” said Höglund to Dalarna Tidningar newspaper (DT).

If the police had acted on their tip-offs, they may have prevented the rape and murder of her ten-year-old daughter Engla, according to Höglund.

“The government will pay for their mistake,” Höglund told DT on Monday.

Höglund is aware that the chances are not in her favour when it comes to suing the state, but aims to make an attempt on behalf of her daughter, and in the hope of preventing any similar attacks in the future.

If Höglund does not succeed with the lawsuit, she will not only have to pay for her own court fees, but also the government’s, but this is a case she considers to be worth the risk.

“We won’t get Engla back. Her suffering won’t decrease. I just want to put some meaning into all this senselessness,” she said.

On April 5th, 2008, Anders Eklund ran across 10-year-old Engla as she was riding her bicycle home following football practice outside Stjärnsund in Dalarna in central Sweden.

Eklund followed the girl a short way and then began speaking to her, at which point, according to Eklund, she started acting “cheeky” and “arrogant”. Afterward, he said, he lost his senses and got “tunnel vision”.

He then raped and strangled the girl, and dumped her body in an isolated wooded area before trying to burn it.

Eight years earlier in June 2000, Eklund followed the then 31-year-old Pernilla Hellgren when she left a street festival in Falun in central Sweden.

He later attacked, raped, and strangled her, leaving the body visible and partially clothed in a wooded area.

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ENGLA

Engla’s killer sentenced to life in prison

Anders Eklund has been sentenced to life in prison for the murders of Engla Juncosa Höglund and Pernilla Hellgren.

Engla's killer sentenced to life in prison

In its ruling, the Falu District Court also demanded that Eklund pay 850,000 kronor ($118,000) in compensation to the plaintiffs in the case, a lower amount than originally requested.

The victims’ relatives will each receive 75,000 kronor, and in some cases 50,000 kronor. According to the court, current practice doesn’t allow for a higher award.

Eklund was also convicted for aggravated rape, the rape of a child, attempted rape, and child pornography.

Defence attorney Leif Silbersky argued during the trial that his client shouldn’t be sentenced separately for the rape convictions.

But the court ruled that the sexual violence against Engla and Pernilla was separate from the deadly violence, therefore allowing for Eklund to be sentenced for both crimes.

Eklund confessed to both murders when presented with DNA evidence from the Pernilla case during questioning by police.

While Silbersky didn’t object to the prison sentence, he has repeatedly stressed the point that Eklund needs to have psychiatric care while in prison.

Two psychiatric examinations concluded that Eklund does suffer from mental problems, but that they aren’t serious enough to prevent him from being sentenced to prison.

It was on April 5th of this year when Eklund ran across 10-year-old Engla as she was riding her bicycle home following football practice outside Stjärnsund in Dalarna in central Sweden.

Eklund followed the girl a short way and then began speaking to her, at which point, according to Eklund, she started acting “cheeky” and “arrogant”. Afterward, he said, he lost his senses and got “tunnel vision”.

He then raped and strangled the girl, and dumped her body in an isolated wooded area before trying to burn it.

Eight years earlier in June 2000, Eklund followed the then 31-year-old Pernilla Hellgren when she left a street festival in Falun in central Sweden.

He later attacked, raped, and strangled her, leaving the body visible and partially clothed in a wooded area.

Prosecutors continue to investigate whether police in Dalarna committed a punishable offence by not following up on earlier tips about Eklund’s involvement in the Pernilla murder case.

Police have asked themselves whether Engla’s murder could have been avoided had different steps been taken.

The investigation into professional misconduct is expected to be completed shortly.