Ignored pleas for help for a mentally-ill Danish man result in tragedy – The Post

Ignored pleas for help for a mentally-ill Danish man result in tragedy

Police had “no cars available” when a teacher called and said the man was in danger

A woman tried to get help for the man charged with stabbing Suldrup grocer Finn Degn Ovesen to death (photo: Spar)
May 16th, 2018 2:23 pm| by Ray W
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Anja Nyboe Laursen tried to help. When the teacher saw a young man looking psychologically unstable and wandering around Randers on October 20 of last year, she took it upon herself to try and help him.

“He didn’t seem to know where he was,” she told DR. “If no one helped him, it would be hard for him to get out of that situation.”

And the situation did indeed get worse. The man is now charged with stabbing Suldrup grocer Finn Degn Ovesen to death.

No cars
Laursen called both the police and the residential home the young man said he lived in, but to no avail. Police said they did not have a car available to pick up the man.

“I said that I was worried about him and asked if they really had no vehicles available.”

Police asked Laursen to drive the young man to the train station, since they could not come and pick him up.

No answer
The young man told her that he lived in a communal home, so she tried to call them.

“I simply could not get through,” she said.

Finally Laursen felt her only choice was to put the young man on the train.

“It was a feeling of impotence,” she said. “You want to help another human being and the police have no resources and you can’t get through to the home.”

A tragic end
The next day, grocer Ovesen was murdered in his shop in Suldrup and the young man was arrested and charged with the killing.

“I was shocked when I read the news,” said Laursen.

“When I got home I asked myself: ‘Is the right? Is this really how things should be? That you should be completely dependent on meeting people with their hearts in the right place who are willing to help if you are in such an extreme situation?’”

READ MORE: Treatment faltering for mentally-ill youngsters in Denmark

Laursen’s story is part of DR’s documentary ‘Drabet på Købmanden’

The documentary reveals how the young man’s condition became progressively worse in the days leading up to the October 21 attack on Ovesen.