The man made his wife close her eyes before he hit her with a sledge hammer and threw her and their infant child from the top of a cliff outside Lund in southern Sweden.
The woman and the child were found late at night on December 9th last year. The previous summer the man had signed several life insurance forms amounting to 6.5 million kronor on behalf of the woman, which the prosecutor argued proved that the murder was premeditated.
“I have only had time to read the verdict very briefly, but I can note that the court shares my view on the whole: that it was premeditated and part of a criminal plan,” prosecutor Helena Lundström told regional newspaper Sydsvenskan on Tuesday.
Lund's district court was told the man had been hearing voices and an initial psychiatric investigation suggested that he had suffered from a serious psychological disorder at the time of the murder.
However, it decided to go on the line of Sweden's National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen), which had said that the disorder could not be classified as 'serious'.
The court ruled that it therefore did not entitle the man to psychiatric care instead of prison and sentenced him to lifetime imprisonment on Tuesday. It also ordered him to pay 240,000 kronor in financial damages to relatives of the woman.
Lawyer Per Schånberg, who had pushed for a manslaughter verdict, told Sydsvenskan after the sentencing that he would speak to his client and then decide whether or not to appeal.