A 24-year-old Norwegian man convicted of raping and murdering a college student out jogging in Ålesund last summer has been handed Norway’s longest prison term. A judge in the west coast city sentenced him to 21 years of forvaring, a special form of custody meant to protect the public from particularly dangerous criminals. It can be extended to a life term.
Judge Kjetil Gjøen’s ruling was in line with what prosecutor Ingvild Thorn Nordheim had sought. “Society’s need to be protected from this person demanded the law’s strongest punishment of forvaring for 21 years, and with the longest period of eligibility for parole of 10 years,” Gjøen said in court. The judge agreed .
The defendant, who has a long police record of previous assaults, was found guilty of the premeditated murder of 21-year-old Anja Weløy Aarseth on August 28 last year. He was charged with waiting for her behind a tree as she jogged through the popular hilltop recreation area of Aksla on the late summer evening.
He had confessed to both the rape and the murder and has never shown any sign of remorse or regret, even when facing his victim’s parents in court. He also faced charges of contempt after he repeatedly defied the judge’s admonishments and even made an obscene gesture to a police officer who was testifying in the trial.
The defendant denied guilt on additional charges that he also tried to rob a nearby kiosk the same evening that he raped an murdered Aarseth. He has 14 days in which to file an appeal.