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CRIME

‘Machete man’ jailed after ruthless rampage

The man who went on a wild rampage through Sundsvall in March, wielding a machete as his weapon, was sentenced to eight years in prison on Friday for the series of attacks in which he hijacked a minivan and caused one woman to lose an eye.

'Machete man' jailed after ruthless rampage

He was found guilty of a number of charges, including attempted murder, illegal threats, and animal cruelty, reported local media.

On top of the lengthy prison sentence, the man is to pay 139,000 kronor ($19,700) to the attacked woman, as well as 170,000 kronor to 13 other victims.

“His actions were exceptionally ruthless, and have caused the woman mortal fear and anxiety. We’ve concluded that her presence of mind during the attack, as well as another person rushing over, saved her from even graver consequences,” said Tomas Sandström of the Hudiksvall district court in a statement.

The 33 year-old man’s violent outburst began on the afternoon of 15 March, as he slashed the woman repeatedly in the knee and the face with his knife, causing her to lose an eye.

Leaving the bleeding woman behind, the man made his getaway by car, but soon thereafter crashed it into a ditch.

When a minivan full of high school students and teachers stopped to help, he continued his attack, putting his machete against the throat of one of the teachers, and knifing a dog found inside the van.

Forcing the passengers to get off, he then hijacked the van and sped off once more.

Police finally caught up with the man when he crashed his getaway car once more.

However, police were forced to fire a warning shot and shower the man with pepper spray before he gave up and the police could make their arrest.

Initially the man was believed to have been suffering from psychiatric illness when he went on his rampage, as he had been in and out of psychiatric wards since 2010.

However, the psychiatric assessment showed that he was not psychotic at the time of the attack, meaning his eight-year sentence will be spent in prison rather than in psychiatric care.

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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