National Round-Up: Bornholm court sentences brothers who murdered black friend to 14 years in prison

Ben Hamilton
December 1st, 2020

This article is more than 4 years old.

At 12:00, an hour later than anticipated, two brothers found guilty of murdering a man in Bornholm in June were given a sentence of 14 years in prison. 

Mads and Magnus Møller, who were previously un-named, have appealed the length of the sentence to the high court.

The judge also ruled they are liable to pay compensation to the victim’s family.

A court in the Bornholm town of Rønne is this morning awaiting the sentencing of two brothers who have been found guilty of murdering Phillip Johansen, 28, in Nordskoven late last June on the Danish island. 

The pair, who have been un-named by the court, pleaded guilty to aggravated violence, but claimed they did not murder Johansen, a long-time friend of the older brother’s, as he was still alive when they left him.

However, it was established during yesterday’s proceedings that although Johansen was still alive when the brothers left him at around 02:30, they must have known he would not be found in time to save his life.

Mother rape claim
It was further established that the brothers subjected the victims to 15-20 minutes of brutal violence, and this will be taken into account in sentencing. 

The prosecutors have pleaded for a minimum of 14 years, and preferably 16 years, in prison for the pair, while the defence has said 12 years would be a reasonable sentence. 

In his defence, the elder of the brothers told the court he had been told by his mother on June 22 that Johansen raped her. He then told his brother and they hatched a plan to lure Johansen to a secluded area and teach him a lesson: “something with the fists”, the elder brother told the court.

The three of them met and spent a whole evening drinking. A text message sent by Johansen to a friend at 01:35 proved to be the last indication he was still alive.

BLM to march in Rønne today
The guilty pair, who showed no reaction to being found guilty of murder, turned down the chance to address the court this morning.

Johansen’s relatives have filed a claim for compensation against the brothers, which the pair dispute as they do not  believe the conditions for compensation are met.

The police investigation received a lot of media attention as Johansen is black, and the murder resembled methods used by US police officers to kill George Floyd in May.

The Danish chapter of Black Lives Matter is accordingly organising a march at 14:30 today in Rønne. Among those attending are a coach-load of protestors currently on their way over to the island from Copenhagen.

Slight increase in number of single-parent families asking for Xmas aid
A record number of people have applied to Dansk Folkehjælp for Christmas aid this year. However, the 2.6 percent rise is not as big as one might anticipate in light of the Coronavirus Crisis. In total 14,987 single-parent families with children asked for the aid by the November 30 midnight deadline. Last year, of the 14,600 who applied, 11,400 received the aid. Dansk Folkehjælp is not the only organisation aiding the needy. Last year, the Red Cross helped out 12,000 families.

New acting head of Statens Serum Institut concerned about lax Christmas
Henrik Ullum, the new acting head of Statens Serum Institut (SSI) from today, has warned that “the Christmas season may well be the biggest challenge we have yet faced in the corona pandemic”, according to TV2. He urges the public to cautiously mingle during the festive season. “If we do not really, really take care, then we risk the pandemic running wild,” he said. “The whole of 2020 has been tough, and now we are on our way out of 2020, there is a vaccine on the stairs – I can understand if many people think: ‘Now we don’t need to bother.’ But we are not out of the woods yet.” Kåre Mølbak, the head of SSI, will officially step down at the end of January.

Coronavirus mortality rate in freefall, confirm hospitals
The mortality rate of hospitalised coronavirus patients has fallen significantly since the spring, reports Politiken. Based on figures obtained from Hvidovre Hospital, the newspaper claims the mortality rate has fallen from 26 percent (of 265 patients between March and May) to 8.5 percent (of 85 patients in the second wave) – an approximate decline of 75 percent.  Aarhus University Hospital has meanwhile seen a fall from 9.3 percent in the spring to 4.1 percent in the autumn, while the average length of stay has fallen from 11.3 to 5.2 days. In contrast to the spring, patients are being treated with Remdesivir, Dexamethasone, blood-thinning medication and high-flow oxygen therapy.

Drivers on the job inattentive and speeding – survey
One in six professionals who spend most of their working day behind the wheel confess to regularly using a handheld mobile whilst driving on the job, according to a Kantar survey for the Rådet for Sikker Trafik (RST) road safety group and Forsikring & Pension (F&R). And even more – 19 percent in cars and 24 percent in vans –  regularly break the speed limit during working hours. Additionally, 19 percent confess to often being tired or stressed whilst driving on the job. More companies need to step up to rectify the situation, asserts Benny Engelbrecht, the transport minister. “Too high a speed and inattention are the two biggest killers in traffic,” concurred Mogens Kjærgaard Møller, the CEO of RST, which together with (F&P) has since 2013 awarded the  Safe Traffic Business Award to the company judged to be making the biggest efforts in the area. This year’s winner was Esbjerg courier NorSea Denmark.


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