Man who tortured stepson to death set free

A man convicted for fatally abusing his 10-year-old stepson Bobby and then dumping the boy's body in a lake in one of the most high-profile criminal cases in Sweden in the last decade has been released after serving six years in prison.

Man who tortured stepson to death set free

Among other forms of abuse, the boy was subjected to beatings, electric shocks and being forced to lie naked in the snow.

The boy’s mother, who was also released on parole this summer according to tabloid Aftonbladet, was convicted alongside her partner in 2006 of aggravated manslaughter (grovt vållande till annans död).

The pair eventually dumped their son Bobby’s body in a lake after finding him dead in bed.

The disturbing details of the abuse shook Sweden in 2006.

Among other forensic evidence, Bobby’s blood was found in the family’s vacuum cleaner, which had allegedly been used on his private parts.

The stepfather had large amounts of pornography on his computer, many with elements of sadomasochism.

Much of the criminal case involved the parents blaming each other for the abuse.

Bobby’s case also led to changes in Swedish law.

The Lex Bobby law, introduced two years on in 2008, outlines the responsibilities of people working with children to report suspicions of abuse.

After his death, Bobby’s teachers reported that he spoke about sex more often than his class mates. He had also mentioned his mother’s drinking.

No one followed up on the signs.

Despite the extreme abuse, Bobby’s parents were not convicted of murder.

“It wasn’t possible to prove that they wanted to kill the boy, only that they showed extreme carelessness,” criminologist Jerzy Sarnecki told news agency TT.

“If the court had found that they meant to kill him, then they would have been convicted of murder, which entails life in prison.”

It is customary in Sweden that convicted criminals serving long sentences are released two-thirds of the way through their sentence, he added.

TT/The Local/at

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Stepfather questioned in Bobby trial

The 'Bobby trial' continues on Monday with the questioning of the 39 year old man accused of killing the ten year old boy in January of this year.

But before he gives his version of events, the lawyer for the man’s partner – the 30 year old mother of Bobby – has asked to call a new witness. Anders Berggren wants to question one of the two women who has previously been assaulted by the man, for which he was sentenced to three years in prison.

The lawyer’s request clashes with the tight timescale of the trial and if the woman is to appear in court then the process will last an extra day.

Berggren specifically wants to interview the woman about the stepfather’s relationship with children.

In two days of the trial so far the man has been forced to sit alone in a room listening to his partner blame him for Bobby’s death.

But he claims through his own defence lawyer that the woman’s version of what happened is largely fabricated.

She painted a picture for the court of the daily life at the little farm in Småland being punctuated by threats and violence.

The woman did not want her partner to be in the courtroom while she described the torture and humiliation of the boy, including forcing him to endure electric shocks from the fence of the sheep pen and sexual attacks with a vacuum cleaner.

The man denies the violence but refuses to reveal certain circumstances surrounding Bobby’s death.

The questioning of the man should have taken place on Thursday but delays mean that he was only able to explain how he met the woman and Bobby and how they ended up moving into his farm.

“It was like having my own son in the house,” he said.