Tempers flare at hearing over car park killing

A courtroom in Lund played host to chaotic scenes on Tuesday morning as the district court ruled to keep a 23-year-old man in custody in connection with the car park assault that led to the death of a 78-year-old woman.

Emotions ran high prior to the start of the custody hearing with police forced to intervene as several people attempted to prevent photographers from taking pictures inside the packed courtroom.

One of the suspect’s family members screamed “idiot” at the prosecutor and threw a pen at him as the decision was announced.

The 23-year-old was remanded into custody two weeks ago on suspicions of aggravated involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault.

He is suspected of having punched a 78-year-old woman in the face as she intervened on behalf of her 71-year-old husband after a parking dispute outside a Landskrona supermarket.

The woman lost consciousness in the affray and died after undergoing an operation at the Skåne University Hospital in Lund on March 31st while her husband escaped the incident with minor injuries.

The 23-year-old man was arrested on Good Friday. He has admitted to involvement in the incident but claims he never intended to injure or kill the victim. The suspect’s legal counsel Leif Silbersky has said the woman’s death was “purely accidental”.

Silbersky said the court lacked sufficient evidence to warrant holding his client on probable cause, the highest level of suspicion prior to charges being brought. With this in mind, he argued that his client should be released from custody.

He also pleaded for negotiations to be held inside the crowded courtroom, but deputy chief prosecutor Göran Olsson opposed the move since a number of witnesses have yet to be questioned in the ongoing investigation. The court eventually ruled to hold the hearing behind closed doors.