‘Pocket man’ may be released on parole

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A notorious pedophile known as the “Pocket Man” has requested he be released on parole when he becomes eligible this summer. A psychiatrist has recommended Erik Andersen’s release, believing the risk of him becoming a repeat offender is low.

Andersen sparked one of the largest manhunts in Norwegian history. When he appealed his sentence in 2010, the court was doubtful rehabilitative treatment would have any effect on the convicted pedophile. The businessman from Bergen was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment with a minimum period of seven years, reported newspaper VG on Thursday.

Andersen was convicted for the abuse of 66 boys over a number of years throughout Norway. He cut holes in his pockets, and then approached boys at random asking them to get something in his pocket. In its verdict, the appeals court ruled Andersen “belongs to the group of sexual predators that have the greatest recurrence risk.” He had already undergone treatment for two years by 2010, but the court found it had done little to increase his empathy, decrease his denial, and clarify his understanding of his own sexuality.

An experienced psychiatrist at Ila prison, Randi Rosenqvist, said Andersen could now be eligible for parole under certain conditions. “I can confirm I have written a report and that is the conclusion,” Rosenqvist told VG. “But confidentiality means I cannot comment on the case beyond this.” Andersen’s lawyer Gunhild Lærum said his treatment program had been successful, which is the main point of detention.

Per Egil Volledal was the attorney during the case. “I must say I was surprised when the request came from Andersen a few weeks ago,” he said. “Prosecutors are very skeptical that it is possible to cure pedophilia, and we’re talking here about abuse against 66 boys altogether.” He said it would take more than a psychiatric report to release Norway’s most notorious serial abuser back into the community.

newsinenglish.no staff