A 16-year-old Norwegian boy who was just 15 when he stabbed a classmate and woman who intervened to death in Kristiansand last year was ordered held in Norway’s special and strongest form of custody on Thursday. The families of his two victims were relieved.
Both had complained that a 10-year jail term requested by a state prosecutor was far too lenient given the shocking nature of the teenager’s crime. It meant he would have been eligible for parole in just six years, and potentially released. Young offenders are rarely even sent to jail in Norway, with the country’s penal system usually opting for rehabilitation under far more liberal conditions.
Possibility for life in prison
In this case, the judge agreed that a jail term was inadequate. The 16-year-old, who had confessed to the double homicide, was thus sentenced to 11 years of forvaring, the special form of custody in Norway that can keep offenders in prison for life. He won’t be released until judges are convinced he won’t pose a threat to society.
The mother of the convicted teenager’s main victim, 14-year-old Jakob Hassan, and the husband of his second victim Tone Ilebekk, a 48-year-old woman out walking her family’s dog when she intervened in the attack on Hassan, had urged forvaring. The young offender had shown little signs of remorse when his testified, and the prosecution had successfully argued that the stabbing of Hassan was pre-meditated.
The 16-year-old had also killed Ilebekk, who was stabbed 32 times after she tried to help the wounded Hassan, to prevent her from identifying him. The stabbings occurred on the grounds of the Wilds Minne School in the southern coastal city of Kristiansand on December 5 last year, and set off a major investigation.
“We are incredibly relieved,” Ilebekk’s husband Morten Andersen told state broadcaster NRK on Thursday after the sentence was released. He and their two sons had sat through much of the 16-year-old’s trial and were shocked by how unaffected the young murderer appeared to be.
“I think this is a fair decision,” Andersen told NRK. “The judge has viewed this case in the same way we have. We believed that forvaring was the only right thing to do. We didn’t think he (the defendant) had shown the least sign of remorse.” He said the sentence doesn’t make his family’s situation any better, but they feel relieved.
Hassan’s mother had earlier called for forvaring as well and on Thursday, Hassan’s father said he felt the sentence was fair. “This has been very heavy for my family, my wife and all of Jakob’s siblings,” Abdullahi Hassan told NRK. “We just have to carry on, there’s nothing else we can do.”
It remained unclear whether the 16-year-old’s defense attorney will appeal. Hassan hoped it would not be. Andersen predicted it will be, “and that we’ll have to go through another trial,” he said, “but right now, we feel there’s been some justice.”