Convicted Knutby pastor offered job by church

The pastor sentenced to life in prison for manipulating his family’s former nanny into murdering his wife has been offered a job by a deacon working in the Swedish Church. In a letter accompanying the pastor’s latest application to have his life sentence converted to fixed term, the deacon says he is ready to employ him.

Convicted Knutby pastor offered job by church
Photo: Tomas Onerborg/SvD/TT

Helge Iversen, who previously went by the name Fossmo, was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 for persuading his family's former nanny to kill his wife while she was sleeping in their house in Knutby, about 75 kilometres northeast of Stockholm, the same year.

The nanny also shot the pastor’s neighbour, with whose wife the pastor was having an affair. The neighbour survived the night-time attack. The nanny was sentenced to psychiatric care over the shootings and was released in 2011.

The former Pentecostal church pastor has twice applied for his life sentence to be converted into a fixed term sentence enabling earlier release from prison. His latest application to the Örebro District Court was supported by an October-dated letter from a deacon asking the court to fix 46-year-old Iversen’s term, outlining a work training programme for Iversen that would most likely would lead to employment.

In the letter, which was obtained by Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet, the deacon says he “has a plan for when he gets out,” describing how Iversen has been offered a place in a Swedish Church adult education programme after which he will be offered an internship with the deacon who works with social issues, “with the aim of employment after the internship”.

The deacon says he has spent a lot of time with Iversen, and that “after many long conversations and walks, I as a deacon wish to carry out these activities alongside him.”

“[I] also wish that Helge, after a long time, may have his sentence fixed so that we can embark on these future projects.”

The letter has been met with a lot of criticism.

“Our recommendation is that you shouldn’t write any support letters at all for an array of reasons, including the fact that some people you meet when you work in prisons have manipulative traits,” Susanne Rodmar, a former prison church pastor, was quoted as telling Aftonbladet.

In a statement to the Örebro District Court, a psychiatrist said that Iversen “seems to have a fairly good capability of manipulating and duping his surroundings.”

The Örebro court has rejected Iversen’s application.