Killer who butchered Scots lover over­turns mur­der con­vic­tion

Scottish Daily Mail - - News - By Sam Walker

‘Con­sid­ered to be cruel’

A FOR­MER sol­dier who was jailed for life for the ‘cold-blooded’ mur­der of his Scot­tish girl­friend in La­p­land has had his con­vic­tion over­turned.

Karel Frybl will serve a shorter prison sen­tence of 11 years for ‘homi­cide’ in­stead.

The rul­ing by the La­p­land Court of Ap­peal comes eight months af­ter Czech Frybl was jailed for life over the death of tour guide Re­becca John­son.

Un­der Fin­nish law that means a killer is ex­pected to spend be­tween 12 and 13 years be­hind bars.

Miss John­son, of Burn­tis­land, Fife, was stabbed 40 times by Frybl, with whom she ran Christ­mas-themed dog sled tours. The new rul­ing means the ap­peal panel be­lieves the 26-year-old’s killing was not pre­med­i­tated.

In its de­lib­er­a­tion yes­ter­day, the panel said: ‘Although Frybl is un­doubt­edly con­sid­ered to be cruel, [the killing] can­not be con­sid­ered to be par­tic­u­larly cruel.’

How­ever, the three judges on the panel were di­vided. Jo­hannes Ahola, a lo­cal lawyer who has been fol­low­ing the case, told the Courier news­pa­per: ‘This means it has been a dif­fi­cult case be­cause it’s rather un­usual for the Ap­peals Court judges to vote. It hap­pens, but not re­ally of­ten.’

Miss John­son and Frybl, 37, had been to­gether since 2015. Ac­cord­ing to the po­lice, Frybl had been a butcher and slaugh­ter­house worker when the cou­ple lived in Scot­land.

They were em­ployed with a Santa sa­fari com­pany in the vil­lage of Kut­ta­nen when the ‘bru­tal’ at­tack took place on De­cem­ber 3, 2016.

A trial at La­p­land District Court pre­vi­ously heard Frybl had planned to move out of their cot­tage on the morn­ing of the at­tack but the cou­ple had ar­gued again over the own­er­ship of husky pup­pies.

The court was told that af­ter the at­tack, Frybl fled on a dog sled be­fore be­ing cap­tured.

Dur­ing the trial, Miss John­son’s fam­ily, who ap­peared in court wear­ing pur­ple rib­bons in her mem­ory, fought back tears as text mes­sages re­cov­ered from her phone were read out to show the ‘abu­sive’ na­ture of the re­la­tion­ship.

Af­ter one text ex­change, her sis­ter, Vic­to­ria, texted back: ‘You need to tell peo­ple at the ho­tel. He is a dan­ger to you. He may end up killing you.’

Frybl will con­tinue to serve his sen­tence in Fin­land, although it is un­der­stood he has been moved from a prison in the north of the coun­try to an­other lo­ca­tion.

His case could be passed to Fin­land’s Supreme Court be­cause the judges in the ap­peal were di­vided.

Vic­tim: Re­becca John­son

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