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GOTHENBURG SCHOOL STABBING

STABBING

Police ‘not told’ of stabbing suspect’s call

The 28-year-old man suspected of stabbing a 10-year-old girl in the throat at a Gothenburg school called and identified himself to emergency services immediately after the attack, but the information wasn't forwarded to the police.

Police 'not told' of stabbing suspect's call

At a remand hearing held Saturday, the man, through his lawyer, admitted to the stabbing, but claimed he never meant to kill the girl.

The 28-year-old confessed to stabbing the girl in the neck several times with a knife when she was out of the grounds of a primary school in Hjällbo on February 6th.

However, he never intended to kill the girl and rejected suspicions of attempted murder or manslaughter, but confessed to committing an act of aggravated assault.

The 28-year-old’s lawyer Claes Östlund also said his client objected to be being held on remand at which point the judge ordered the rest of the hearing be held behind closed doors.

Following the hearing, the court ordered the man remanded in custody.

It also emerged on Saturday that shortly after the attack, the man called the SOS Alarm emergency service and said he had done something terrible, specifying his location and that he requested a police unit be dispatched.

However, SOS Alarm declined to forward this information to the police, according to a report in the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) daily.

The man then fled to another European country.

Police refused to comment on the report that emergency services had information about the attack that wasn’t shared with police.

“We’ve decided not to comment on the information,” detective Per-Olof Johansson of the Västra Götaland County police told the TT news agency.

After Swedish police issued an arrest warrant for the man following the attack, he reportedly turned himself in to local police in another European country.

Johansson confirmed that the 28-year-old was apprehended in Spain and that he arrived abck in Gothenburg on Friday night after being extradited by Spanish authorities.

However, he refused to confirm that the man turned himself in.

The man reportedly has no relation to the girl, and has told police that he was acting alone.

The girl is reportedly doing well after the incident and that despite suffering a minor infection in the stab wound, she has made a full recovery.

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SWEDISH HISTORY

Why is Gothenburg known as Sweden’s ‘Little London’?

With ties to Britain dating back more than 200 years, the city of Gothenburg has long been known as Sweden’s Little London.

Why is Gothenburg known as Sweden’s 'Little London'?

Grey skies, rainy days, a wide-mouthed river, and a love for English pubs. At first glance, it’s no wonder that Gothenburg has long held the nickname of Sweden’s own “Little London”, or Lilla London

But what are the origins of this British title?

“The nickname ‘Little London’ was first used in a newspaper in 1766,” explains Håkan Strömberg, educational officer at the Museum of Gothenburg.

“The Brits were the largest immigration group during the 1700s and early 1800s, mainly because Sweden was a country close by, it was economically underdeveloped compared to England and Scotland and had a lot of raw materials. To put it simply, could make some money here.”

The city’s reputation as a British enclave dates back to the 1700s when trade brought many foreign influences to the Västra Götaland region.

As merchants and shipbuilders like Charles Chapman, David Carnegie, and James Dickson moved to the area, local residents began to notice a growing list of similarities between the Swedish port city and the British capital.

Indeed, even one of Sweden’s most renowned scientists, Carl Von Linné, is said to have commented on the similarities between the two cities when he visited Gothenburg in the 1700s.

 “Being a group of upper-class immigrants, the British merchants made sure they had access to all the good things from their home country. But the feeling of Gothenburg as a Little London was most likely something the Swedish citizens had, rather than the Brits,” adds Strömberg. 

The historical roots that connect the UK and Gothenburg are still evident today, with many spots in the city still alluding to British names, like Chalmers University – founded by the son of a wealthy Scottish industrialist, or Chapmans Torgnamed after a family of sailors and shipbuilders once well-established in the area. 

Catriona Chaplin, a British expat turned Gothenburger, only began to see the similarities and know of the nickname after relocating to the region for work. Growing up in Leicestershire, central England, she’d never heard of London’s Swedish sibling city.

“We came to Gothenburg 17 years ago. We’d never heard about [the nickname] until we moved here, but there is a bar on Avenyn called Lilla London, so that’s when we started to know about it,” she says.

Today, as the membership secretary of the British Club of Gothenburg, she brings a taste of the British Isles to life in Gothenburg.

The Club, which organises social events like concerts, quiz nights, and theatre performances, has a membership base of nearly 200 families. And although less than 0.5 percent of Gothenburg’s population today was born in the UK, the club welcomes members from a range of nationalities.

In fact, the only membership requirement is having some kind of interest in the UK, be it from a cultural standpoint, a past tourist experience, or a love of the language. 

“People come to the British Club just to socialise in their native language. It’s also about the culture, like the banter, the jokes and playing on words,” she says. 

Although the city’s British roots run deep, questions remain about modern-day Gothenburg’s status as “Little London”.

To some, the west-coast maritime hub’s industrial legacy, strong working-class culture, and amiable nature are reminiscent of a different English city. “They ought to call it ‘Little Liverpool’!” says Chaplin, with a smile. 

Lasting Landmarks

Evidence of Gothenburg’s British connections can be found in many of its landmarks, shops, and of course, pubs. Some of the historical hotspots still apparent today include:

Haga – The British ‘hood 

The area of Haga, just outside the old city, was once considered a slum, but changed character thanks to British philanthropist Robert Dickson (1782-1858), who built public baths, a library, and other landmarks with the typical red bricks found in Britain at the time.

St Andrew’s Church 

A key part of the British community is the Anglican church of Saint Andrew’s, also in Haga. Dedicated to the patron saint of Scotland, it was built and to date funded by ‘The British Factory’, a British society founded in the 1700s to help expats in Gothenburg that remains active even today.

The Victorian gothic style of the church is in line with the architectural trend in Britain at the time. 

John Scott – a legend among Gothenburgers

One of Gothenburg’s most well-loved establishments is John Scott’s, a local pub chain named after Pastor John Henry Scott, an Englishman and prominent landowner in 18th century Gothenburg. 

The “English quarter”

The square of buildings delineated by Teatergatan, Storgatan, Kungsportsavenyn and Vasagatan was once known as the city’s English Quarter. The buildings in this neighbourhood are influenced by British design, and the original landowners were in fact English pastor John Henry Scott and his wife, Jacobina.

By Alexander Maxia, Lisa Ostrowski and Sanna Sailer

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