Kongsberg attack: Espen Andersen Bråthen sentenced to compulsory mental health care

Espen Andersen BråthenPhoto: video screenshot / NTB
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Buskerud District Court concluded that Espen Andersen Bråthen was psychotic insane when he killed five people with a knife and attacked several others in Kongsberg last year.

The verdict against Bråthen was announced on Friday morning.

The outcome was expected as, during the trial, both the prosecution and Espen Andersen Bråthen’s defense counsel agreed with the forensic psychiatric experts who stated that he has chronic paranoid schizophrenia.

This means that he was also psychotic when he killed Gun Marith Madsen, Hanne Merethe Englund, Andréa Meyer, Gunnar Erling Sauve, and Liv Berit Borge and tried to kill several others in Kongsberg on October 13 last year.

The district court sentenced Bråthen to compulsory mental health care. This is in line with the claim from both the prosecutor and Bråthen’s defender.

“A sick person”

“We are dealing with a sick person,” prosecutor Andreas Christiansen said in his final address in the district court.

During the trial, which took place in the courthouse in Hokksund between May 18 and June 6, the 38-year-old said that he felt he had to go out and kill people so that he could be reborn into a better life. 

He took a bow and arrow with him and first visited the local grocery store Coop Extra on Nytorget in Kongsberg. There he fired arrows at a number of people and hit three of them, but without anyone suffering life-threatening injuries.

Bråthen managed to avoid the first police patrol that came to the store by firing arrows at them. He then got out through an emergency exit on the side of the building when the patrol withdrew to put on protective equipment. After his bow broke, he went down Hyttegata, about 150 meters from Coop, entered residents’ homes, and killed those he met with a knife.

He was arrested about 37 minutes after the attack started.

Bråthen has a long history of mental illness, and from the beginning, one of the police’s main hypotheses has been that he was psychotic when he committed the murders. In 2007, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, where psychosis is a prominent feature. The forensic psychiatrists who have assessed Bråthen believe that he still has the diagnosis and that it is chronic.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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