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CRIME

Man held for hammer attack on pastor

A 24-year-old man has been remanded in custody on suspicion of attempted murder and unlawful threats after attacking a female priest with a hammer and reportedly shouting "I am going to kill you".

The attack happened on Tuesday afternoon at a parking lot adjacent to a church in the Södermalm district of Stockholm.

The 24-year-old had come by the church on Monday to speak to the priest. He asked her if she had previously worked in Tumba, a southern Stockholm suburb, a source told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

The priest replied that she had not worked in Tumba. However, on Tuesday, the man returned and asked to see her again.

The priest thought the man seemed unpleasant and was afraid he would be waiting for her outside the church. She therefore asked a colleague to accompany her to her car after finishing work.

The priest and her colleague could not see the man and so she walked up to the car alone.

When she was about to unlock the car door, the 24-year-old appeared from behind and hit her in the head several times with a hammer

“I am going to kill you!” he is reported to have shouted.

The priest’s colleague and several passers-by managed to overpower the attacker and contained him until police arrived to arrest him.

According to Aftonbladet, the 24-year-old allegedly had been looking up people from his childhood in Tumba and by chance found the female priest. However, she says she has not encountered him before.

The priest spent Tuesday night in hospital.

“She is of course affected by the events and does not feel well. Hopefully she has not suffered any permanent physical injuries,” the priest’s legal counsel told the paper.

On Friday, the 24-year-old was ordered remanded in custody. His trial is expected to commence on November 1st and the district court has determined that he should undergo a psychiatric examination.

He is previously known by the police but has never been charged for any serious crime.

The Local/nr

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CRIME

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

A court has sentenced the far-right extremist Theodor Engström to psychiatric care for the knife attack he carried out at the Almedalen political festival this summer.

Swedish terror attacker sentenced to psychiatric care

The Gotland district court found the 33-year-old Engström guilty of murdering the psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren, but did not agree that the murder counted as a terror attack.

It did find him guilty, however, of “planning a terror attack”, for his preparations to murder the Centre Party’s leader, Annie Lööf. 

“The murdered woman had a significant role [in society], a murder is always serious, and this had consequences both for Almedalen Week and for society more broadly,” the judge Per Sundberg, said at a press conference. 

The judge Per Sundberg announces the sentence on Theodor Engström on December 6th. Photo: Karl Melander/TT

But he said that the court judged that Sweden’s terror legislation was too restrictively drafted for her murder to count as a terror offence. 

“Despite Ing-Marie Wieselgren’s well-attested position within psychiatry, the court considers that her position as national coordinator at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions is not such that her murder can in itself be considered to have damaged Sweden. The act cannot as a result be classified as a terrorist crime on those grounds.” 

The court ruled that Engström’s crimes deserved Sweden’s most severe sentence, a life sentence in prison, but found that due to his disturbed mental state he should instead receive “psychiatric care with a special test for release”. 

In its judgement, the court said that an examination by forensic psychiatrists had found both that there were “medical reasons” why Engström should be transferred into a closed psychiatric facility and that “his insight into the meaning of his actions and his ability to adjust his actions according to such insight were at the very least severely diminished”. 

It said that under Swedish law, a court could send someone to prison who was in need of psychiatric care only if there were “special reasons” to do so. 

“The court considers that it has not been shown that Theodor Engström’s need of psychiatric care is so limited that there is a special reason for a prison sentence,” it ruled. 

Lööf wrote on Instagram that the judgement was “a relief”. 

“For me personally, it was a relief when the judgement came,” she wrote. “Engström has also been judged guilty of ‘preparation for a terror attack through preparation for murder’. This means that the the court is taking the threat towards democracy and towards politicians as extremely serious.”

The fact that the court has decided that Engström’s care should have a “special test for release” means that he cannot be discharged from the closed psychiatric hospital or ward where he is treated without a court decision. 

The court must rule both that the mental disorder that led to the crime has abated to the extent that there is no risk of further crimes, and that he has no other mental disorders that might require compulsory psychiatric care. The care has to be reassessed every six months. 

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