The family of a 48-year-old woman in Kristiansand who was stabbed to death when she intervened in another stabbing while out walking her dog is protesting the relatively short prison term facing the 16-year-old murderer. “How do we know he won’t do this again?” questioned the woman’s husband. “He shows no signs of remorse.”
The case is turning into another example of Norway’s relatively lenient punishment for serious crimes like rape and homicide. The defendant was just 15 years old when he got angry at a 14-year-old acquaintance who allegedly owed him around NOK 600 (USD 71). The defendant stabbed young Jacob Hassan to death outside a school in Kristiansand last December. When 48-year-old Tone Ilebekk, out walking her dog in Kristiansand’s Lund neighbourhood, rushed over to intervene, he repeatedly stabbed her to death too.
His trial has been underway in a local court this week and prosecutors have described him as “cold-blooded, raw and lacking any feelings.” The teenager has confessed to both murders and acknowledged criminal liability after police found bloody clothing that matched the victims’ DNA at his home. Prosecutors also believe the Hassan’s murder was premeditated.
They nonetheless sought just a 10-year prison term, meaning the defendant can be eligible for parole in six years, even though the law would allow for a prison term of 21 years with possible extension. Tone Ilebekk’s widower, Morten Andersen, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) he was frustrated by the lenient proposed punishment.
“Our interests are absolutely not being addressed,” Andersen told NRK, on behalf of the couple’s sons. They have followed the trial and reacted especially when the teenage defendants testified that “I’m not a mass murderer, I only killed two.” The teenager has appeared unaffected by his acts, and smiled at his victims families in court. “I can’t understand what he’s made of,” Andersen said. It’s now up to a judge to pass sentence.