A Swedish man who saved a woman from assault has been sentenced to prison rather than being applauded for performing a civic duty.
In a case which has provoked outrage across the country, Per-Anders Pettersson was found guilty of aggravated assault despite the would-be Samaritan’s claims he was acting in self-defence on behalf of 66-year-old Gard Forsgren who was being attacked in her car.
Forsgren, now 69, was assailed in 2006 while inside her vehicle near Nas in the central Swedish county of Dalarna when Pettersson intervened. He dragged the woman’s attacker from the car and hit him two times with a jack reports The Local. The two men were known to each other from a previous court case.
Peterrsson was sentenced to 12 months in a Norrkoping jail in a move which shocked Forsgren. “He has been treated dreadfully and unjustly. Would it have been better if this other man had strangled me?” she told reporters. “He is the biggest angel that I have met,” Forsgren added.
In the summer of 2006 Forsgren’s vehicle was stopped by the drunken man who then forced himself into the car and placed her in a stranglehold which left her fearing for her life. In spite of her screams and the flashing hazard lights around 20 cars passed without stopping to assist.
Pettersson came to Forsgren’s rescue by initially yelling at the attacked before striking him on the shoulder with the car jack he was wielding. A second blow to the head caused the 26-year-old to suffer a fractured a skull. This second strike rendered the self-defence claim inadmissible by law and Pettersson was fined SEK 50,000 in addition to the one year prison term.
Forsberg’s assailant was placed on probation and ordered to pay SEK 8,000 in compensation.