Reports Swedish rapist in hospital after attack

Reports Swedish rapist in hospital after attack
Umeå held a demonstration against sexual violence toward women when the Haga Man was released in July. Photo: John Gunseum/TT
Swedish media are reporting that a notorious serial rapist who was recently released from prison and returned to the city where he committed his crimes was attacked on Saturday by three people who are still at large.

No one has been arrested for the attack in the northern city of Umeå on the man who Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet is identifying as Niklas Lindgren, known as 'Hagamannen'. 

According to the paper, Lindgren was attacked outside the dormitory where he had lived for one week.

“It wasn’t a question of if, but when,” Johan, a man who also lives in the dormitory, told the newspaper. “But you wouldn’t think it would happen in the middle of the day right outside the front door.”

According to police spokesman Börje Öhman, the victim was hit in the head with a golf club and was taken to hospital for care. He was released at around midday on Sunday.

Police are not yet confirming that the victim is Lindgren. Investigators are examining the golf club and will question witnesses as well as the victim. They will try to determine if he will need police protection.

Police handout picture of the Haga Man. Photo: Polisen/TT

Police handout picture of the Haga Man. Photo: Polisen/TT

Lindgren was imprisoned in 2006 for raping several women in Umeå between 1999 and 2005. In two of the cases he also tried to kill his victims.

Many in the town expressed fear and concern after Lindgren walked out a free man from the Skogome prison in Gothenburg last month. He had served two-thirds of his 14-year jail sentence.

The Swedish Prison and Probation Service – which supervises criminals – had initially decided not to allow Lindgren to return to Umeå. The committee had argued that the risk was too high he would reoffend, but also that he himself could be a target for retribution. That decision was reversed by an appeals court.

“Of course, we know that there is a threat against him and that can mean that we need to protect him, but we aren’t that far along yet,” Öhman said.

Former prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem said he was appalled by the news that Lindgren might have been attacked.

“The private administration of justice is intolerable,” he said.

Lindgren remains obligated to attend weekly meetings as part of an official rehabilitation program for sex criminals as well as stay in close contact with his probationary officer.