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Swede assaulted by US women hoops players

Clara Guibourg · 25 Feb 2012, 11:37

Published: 25 Feb 2012 11:37 GMT+01:00

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"We're talking about unprovoked violence from two people against someone who was lying defenceless on the ground," prosecutor Mats Wihlborg told the helagotland.se news website.

The two women, Ashleigh Brown and Jeannie Saunders of the Visby Ladies">Visby Ladies basketball team, were ordered held in custody in part over fears they could try to leave the country.

The highly inebriated man who is the victim of the alleged assault had a mobile phone belonging to the American women in his pocket, but no memory of how the phone ended up on his person.

When the women discovered that the man had the missing phone they grew very agitated, according to witnesses.

Screaming at him, they allegedly pushed him into a pile of snow and began hitting and kicking him.

Two of their team mates witnessed the incident.

The accused women have been suspended from the Visby Ladies basketball club and their contracts with the team have been terminated.

"We made it clear to [the women] that they represent the team in all circumstances. That's just how it is when you're a professional sports player," Visby Ladies' spokesperson Marco Leino told helagotland.se.

Brown, 23, denies assaulting the man, but has admitted she behaved aggressively toward the alleged victim, a man in his forties.

Saunders, 25, admits pushing the man in self-defence and then kicking him repeatedly.

The women have been remanded in custody for the two weeks remaining until the trial, as Gotland's district court concluded there was a risk of their either leaving the country or influencing the trial, as they're friendly with the main witnesses.

Story continues below…

The Visby Ladies team has been left shocked by the incident.

"We're sad, disappointed, angry and confused. We're actually all a bit shocked. These are nice girls, and it's hard to see how they could've ended up in this situation," said Marco Leino.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

14:06 February 25, 2012 by GLO
They pushed the thief into the snow, two girls hit the jurk, well whats wrong with that????/ I know its Sweden, but really, what a crime!
14:34 February 25, 2012 by Tanskalainen
He stole their phone so they kicked his ass. Problem?
15:32 February 25, 2012 by zooeden
Ok we are not animals aight!!! big fine, new story!!!
18:42 February 25, 2012 by Gustav Jung
Typical US behaviour
19:21 February 25, 2012 by idun09
I always wonder why Swedish women put up with the disgusting behavior of drunken Swedish men in public. For once this guy picked the wrong women to harass. I hope the real story will come out in court.
19:38 February 25, 2012 by marissa516
Gustav Jung: "man who is the victim of the alleged assault had a mobile phone belonging to the American women in his pocket, but no memory of how the phone ended up on his person" -lost of memory the minute a swedish person commits a crime i find very typical for swedish behaviour, as well as whinning and crying and moaning all done by a swedish men, start growing some balls and next time a girl kick your ass try to take it like a man .
20:21 February 25, 2012 by Rishonim
I wonder why the local named these girls but not suspects of violent crimes? The little drunken scum stole one of the girls phone and he got his arze whipped. Whats the issue here??
21:23 February 25, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Yes it is "typical" American behavior. You mess with us we won't just stand there holding our heads in our hands and let it happen. We stand up for ourselves and for the ones who can not defend themselves.
02:21 February 26, 2012 by Harry®
Thieves in Gotland? Sweden's definitively going down the tube. Gotland was the nicest place in Sweden with the nicest people.
02:29 February 26, 2012 by anticommie
Good for these two women. I would suggest staying out of sweden as the people there are more worried about some scumbag criminal than innocent people. I this douchebag was in texas his worthless arse might have been shot and thats the way it should be.
03:10 February 26, 2012 by Grokh
if he stole their phones why are they being blamed?

throw the drunktard in jail not the people who went after their belongings -_-x
04:23 February 26, 2012 by VicTaulic
That Swede probably made some racist remark to them. Typical.
11:12 February 26, 2012 by OUIJA
my previous post was deleted by TL, only because I wrote that foreigners should stay out of Sweden, a country where you are guilty as charged, even if you are innocent, just because you are a foreigner. Good for The Local. It shows once more the way thew respect the freedom of speech.
11:47 February 26, 2012 by johan rebel
Come on guys! Sweden is the country where criminals' rights trump everything else, even women's rights and those of minorities. Even hardcore professional Swedish feminists will happily confirm that this is how it should be. Anybody who interferes with a criminal who is just going about his business can look forward to a lengthy spell in jail, as well as having to pay a substantial sum in compensation to the aggrieved crook.
15:06 February 26, 2012 by Roy E
Basketball culture... from the gutter straight to you! .
11:22 February 27, 2012 by klubbnika
So the guy stole their property but they are thrown in jail?????

Typical illogical, irrational and crime-promoting Swedish "justice".
15:21 February 27, 2012 by edphillis
"Yes it is "typical" American behavior. You mess with us we won't just stand there holding our heads in our hands and let it happen. We stand up for ourselves and for the ones who can not defend themselves."

"Knee" and "jerk" come to mind - on a global level.

I like the fact the Swedish news is generally so innocent. This is such a storm in a teacup - unfortunately there may be consequences for the basketball players. I can't believe he went to the police without thinking the beating might have something to do with the mobile phone. Looks like his getting revenge for the wounding of his male pride. I think in most countries he would be laughed at by the police but god bless Sweden for its sense of fairness!!!
20:55 February 27, 2012 by planet.sweden
What ghastly thugs. These women deserve two years in the slammer followed by a straight deportation back to the US, plus forfeiture of the right to visit Sweden ever again.
05:15 February 28, 2012 by johnoleson
Don't you just hate tough women. Oh I forgot, this is Sweden, men and women are exact equals.
15:51 March 3, 2012 by eddiel111
"Ghastly thugs.." ??!! Are you serious ? " 2 years in the slammer and deported ?!" talk about judge and jury .. what happened to hearing both sides of the story .. If I read right, they were the one's that got robbed .. not the other way around .. fact .. Also if I read correctly, one of the "Ghastly thugs" claimed to be acting in self defense .. more than plausible .. considering they have no previous history and were considered "nice people" up until then .. Just ball players making a living ..

so If I understand, you are allowed to be robbed then when you confront the perpetrator, who probably reacted violently in his drunken stupor to the verbal abuse and pushed one of them, you are just supposed to stand there and take it .... The reaction would been the same most anywhere outside of sweden .. and I would be willing to bet that if that happened in NY, Paris or any other major city, the perp would be in a lot worse shape and would take it like a man rather than running to the cops and crying "foul"! ..
18:43 March 5, 2012 by Reason abd Realism
How can this dork pretend to have no recollection of how the phone got into his pocket, and yet have crisp and clear recollections that he was supposedly beaten without any provocation on his part? Is he not by definition an unreliable witness to the event by the fact that he was so drunk that he does not even remember his theft of the girl's phone?

This case should be thrown out, and as other posters have said, if this guy had any manhood he would not cry like a baby to the police after his own disgraceful criminal act.

The real crime here is that the Swedish justice system will reward this criminal handsomely for his hysterical crocodile tears, and that these girls will pay a heavy price for simply retrieving their own stolen goods.

This is particularly annoying because the police would probably not have bothered to go after this guy to retrieve the phone on their behalf, and he would have slipped away on the next ferry to the mainland.
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