LGBTQ couples get life for mass murder

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Published 15 September 2021 at 22.12

Domestic. The Court of Appeal now sentences both mass murderers Anatoliy Petersson, 22, and Leonard Höglind, 23, to life in prison for murder and breach of peace. The victim was Anatoliy's father Mikael Petersson, 57, in Karlskrona.

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Blekinge District Court sentenced the 22-year-old and 23-year-old in June for murder and breach of peace. The district court found it proven that together they and in concert killed the 57-year-old and then dismembered him and buried his remains on Varö in the Karlskrona archipelago.

The duo is portrayed as a homosexual couple. Leonard Höglind was born as a woman and was previously named Ruth Höglind, but recently realized that she was in fact a man stuck in a woman's body.

The background to the murder must have been that Mikael Petersson wanted them to move out of his apartment. Together they ran a vegan café that had major financial problems.

Anatoliy Petersson was sentenced by the district court to life imprisonment while Leonard Höglind was sentenced to 18 years in prison. The reason why Höglind received a fixed-term sentence was that three months into the investigation she told where the remains were buried, where the murder weapon (a wrench) was and also reported the incident.

The 22-year-old only appealed the district court's ruling on the sanction issue and demanded a milder sanction. The 23-year-old demanded in the Court of Appeal to be acquitted. The prosecutor demanded that the sentence for the 23-year-old be increased to life imprisonment.

Just like the district court, the Court of Appeal now sentences Höglind as the perpetrator of murder. The Court of Appeal makes the same assessment as the district court in terms of the course of events and how the duo jointly planned and contributed to the 57-year-old's death.

– The evidence about the defendants' state of mind at the time of the crime that has been presented in the Court of Appeal has neither led to the 23-year-old being released from liability nor to any of them receiving a lighter sentence, says Court of Appeal lawyer Björn Hansson, chairman of the court, in a comment .

Like the district court, the Court of Appeal considers that the murder is so seriously qualified that it justifies a life sentence. The verdict against Anatoliy Petersson is therefore upheld. Like the district court, the Court of Appeal considers that the information provided by Leonard Höglind during the preliminary investigation has been of significant importance to the investigation. However, this so-called fairness reason does not affect the sentencing in such a way that the sentence for him is fixed in time. Höglind is therefore also sentenced to life imprisonment.

– Although the 23-year-old's information has been of significant importance to the investigation, it is judged in this case that it has not been of the particularly obvious kind that should be required for the sentence to be determined to a fixed-term sentence instead of life imprisonment, says Björn Hansson.

The Court of Appeal agrees with its ruling.