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Flawed Investigation In Policeman's Case

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Flawed Investigation In Policeman's Case

Police car

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

An investigation into a policeman threatening a young woman was flawed, RÚV reports. The District Court of Reykjanes reached this conclusion recently, but the shortcomings are thought not to have affected the policeman's defense. The case revolves around threats a young women received from a policeman, whom she had been dating.

The flaws in the investigation were mainly twofold: A report was not taken from the woman's sister, who was present when she received the threats by Snapchat messages. The other flaw was that the phone which received the threats was not investigated. Rather, screenshots from the victim's phone which she sent to the police were considered enough.

The woman is in her early twenties while the policeman is close to thirty years old. They had been dating for a while but the relationship had taken a sour turn when he sent her messages on the past 26th of January. In that message, he sought after sexual relations with the woman and asked her to pick him up downtown. She denied doing that and received in return angry messages which included, among other things, threats to her life.

The woman's sister contacted the police through Facebook and let them know of the messages. The police contacted the woman three days later, and then received permission to search the policeman's home, who was arrested and interrogated. He claimed right from the off that this was a case of drunken foolery, with no real intent behind the messages. He added that he was distraught and had repeatedly apologized to the woman.

Guilty of four messages out of six

The district attorney charged the man for six messages in total. One of them, where he asks the woman to have sexual relations with him, was handled as a sense of modesty crime. The other five messages were handled as threats. The policeman was found not guilty of the sense of modesty crime, as the content of the message was considered similar to messages the woman had sent to the policeman in the summer before. The sentence thus concluded that the woman's sense of modesty had not been breached upon. The policeman was found guilty of threatening messages for four out of the five remaining messages, as the fifth message was not considered as him threatening the woman with her life.

The policeman claimed that it was preposterous that he would ever go through with what he said in the messages. "I've said some crazy and ugly things, and was upset and in a fit of anger as well as hurting, and take it out on her", the policeman said in the report.

Regret leads to a reduced sentence

The sentence stated that it doesn't matter that the policeman did not go through with the threats, as the refraction had already taken place when he sent the messages. It was clear to him that the messages included threats and that they would invoke the woman's fear. The sentence takes into note, however, that the man has a clear criminal record. The sentence also takes into account that the accused did not act on the threats. He also apologized to the woman right after, as well as reiterating the apology multiple times. The court thus decided not to challenge that the man showed great regret for his actions.

The policeman has not been working for the police since the case was revealed by Vísir in September, 2017.

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