Three Finnish teenagers convicted of torturing fellow student to death

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Three Finnish teenagers have been jailed for torturing a fellow 16-year-old student to death near Helsinki.

A Finnish court on Friday sentenced the three killers to prison sentences ranging from eight years and two months to ten years and one month.

The boy’s murder in December 2020 and the subsequent trial have shocked Finland due to the age of the victim and his killers.

The defendants, who were all born in 2004, were accused of harassing their victim for months before brutally beating him to death.

The court in Helsinki heard how the teenagers had “sadistically” assaulted their former classmate for several hours before he died.

The victim’s body was found on 4 December last year in a park in Koskela, in the north of the capital. Prosecutors said that the boy had died of brain damage and a punctured lung caused by broken ribs.

The three killers, who had known the boy since kindergarten, admitted the assault but pleaded not guilty to murder. All three have the right to appeal against their prison sentences.

The court found that the three teenagers had acted together, and inflicted more than 100 injuries on the victim’s body “in a particularly brutal and cruel manner”.

Finland’s Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo has also described the crime as “shocking”.

The case has also revealed flaws in Finland’s social care homes for young people, as the victim had lived in a foster home.

The boy’s carers had initially refused to search for him and his body was not discovered until three days after his death.

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Teachers have also admitted that they were “too late” in responding to the teenager’s difficulties.

According to official figures, nearly one in two young people aged 14-16 in residential care in Finland has recently experienced bullying and threats of violence.

But Helsinki police department said in a statement that they had investigated whether any child welfare services had breached their duty of care.

Crime Commissioner Markku Silén said there was “no concrete evidence” that any teacher, child protection worker, or other officials had committed any misconduct.

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