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APARTMENT

Couple guilty of trying to burn parents alive

A 28-year-old man and his 26-year-old girlfriend have been found guilty of trying to burn the woman's parents alive in an inheritance plot which they hoped would lead to a life of luxury in sunny Buenos Aires.

The couple had hoped that killing the woman’s parents would allow them to cash in on a life insurance policy for which the 26-year-old woman was the sole beneficiary.

The Swedish pair had already bought one-way tickets to Buenos Aires and planned to flee Sweden after carrying out the plot, the Metro newspaper reported.

The young couple drugged the elderly pair with Sobril in their apartment in Solna near Stockhlm in October, ransacked the flat for valuables, and then set fire to the building in seven separate places.

The hope had been to inherit a summer cottage, life insurance and the apartment.

However, an attentive neighbour noticed the smoke and sounded the alarm, allowing rescue services to save the elderly couple before they were harmed.

The young couple was also charged with giving false testimony after giving police faked witness statements, in which they stated that a relative of the girlfriend had previously threatened to kill the parents.

The 28-year-old man stood as a candidate for the Green Party at the 2010 election although the party has since stated that once the man’s views became known steps were taken to expel him.

Last week, the man and woman were found guilty by Solna District Court.

The couple continues to deny the charges and is set to undergo psychiatric evaluations ahead of sentencing, which is scheduled to take place next month, according to Metro.

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CHRISTMAS

Sweden’s Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season

Sweden's straw yule goat Gävlebocken, whose biggest claim to fame is its tendency to get burned down every year, is all set for its annual return on Sunday.

Sweden's Gävle Christmas goat ready to return for festive season
The ill-fated 2016 Gävlebocken. Photo: Pernilla Wahlman/TT

Every year, the Christmas goat (Gävlebocken) in the Slottstorget square in Gävle, central Sweden, attracts a media storm with locals dreaming up new ways to protect the arson-prone 13-metre-high creation.

Despite their efforts, including in some years spraying the goat in anti-flammable liquid, the goat usually goes up in flames long before Swedes have opened their Christmas presents.

Last year, the goat surprisingly made it to Boxing Day intact, to the delight of organisers, who were reported to have put a “secret” plan into effect to protect it.

In 2016 it was less fortunate, going down in flames mere hours after its inauguration.

READ ALSO: 'Memorial' to be held for Sweden's giant yule goat

“Many people are invested” in the straw goat in Gävle, Maria Wallberg of the town’s municipality told TT.

The central Swedish town is naturally proud of its luckless Christmas decoration, despite the fact it has burned town 29 times during its 50-year history.

Thousands of people are expect to attend the unveiling of the goat on Sunday, with the ceremony to be presented by Swedish comedian Clara Henry.

“It means an incredible amount that the city has such a strong symbol which is known all over the world,” Wallberg said.

Security around the giant goat is expected to be high, both during its inauguration day and throughout December. Security guards and cameras will both be deployed to keep an eye on it behind its fencing, while a taxi rank has been moved to the square to increase the presence of people in the area.

“For security reasons, we can’t go into too much detail,” Wallberg said of any further precautions.

Historical precedent is against Gävlebocken. In its first year, 1966, it burned down on New Year’s Eve and it has only made it through the entire month on 15 occasions. It has been burned, stolen and vandalised. In 1976, someone drove a stock car into it.


Orörd = undamaged; uppeldad = burned down; annan skada = otherwise damaged; oklart öde = fate unknown. Graphic: TT

“An attack early in the season would mean cancellations at hotels and restaurants. So it is incredibly important for Gävle, Gävle’s businesses and for everyone who wants to visit the goat that it is still standing at New Year,” Wallberg said.

READ ALSO: Five weirdest attacks on Gävle's arson-prone Christmas goat

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