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CRIME

Sheep ‘fishing’ worries farmers

Brutal sheep thieves are believed to be trying to catch animals in western Norway with fishing hooks, in a practice that has been dubbed ‘sheep fishing’ and which is causing concern in farming communities.

Sheep 'fishing' worries farmers
Not the sheep and the lamb in the story. Photo: Anca Tibor

The problem came to light after a number of sheep in Skånevikfjord, between Stavanger and Bergen, were found with hooks in their fleece, newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) reported. A dead lamb was also found without its thighs. Farmer Olaf Sævareid said he didn’t know how many sheep had gone out of his flock of several hundred, but that his neighbour was also missing 7 or 8 ewes.

“I noticed the same thing last year, that they disappeared without trace. They came home from the mountain, then disappeared,” the farmer said.

Police say they believe the sheep are being stolen to be slaughtered.

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KONGSBERG ATTACK

Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

A Danish man pleaded guilty at his trial Wednesday to having stabbed five people to death and having fired arrows at others in an attack in Norway last year.

Dane pleads guilty to killing five in knife attack in Norway

Espen Andersen Brathen, a 38-year-old Dane living in Norway, allegedly used a bow and arrow inside and outside a supermarket before stabbing to death five other residents in the southeastern town of Kongsberg in October.

 Brathen entered the pleas when asked to respond to the charges of murder and attempted murder at the court in the town of Hokksund. “Everything, I admit everything,” he said, at the start of his trial.

While Norwegian police had initially suspected some kind of terror attack, they quickly believed it was the work of an unbalanced individual.

Brathen had been living for years in Kongsberg, home to about 25,000 people some 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of the capital Oslo, and authorities have said he has a medical history, although details have not been made public.

The Norwegian security services PST, which are responsible for counter-terrorism, also said the man had been on their radar.

He was arrested 35 minutes after the first reports of an attack and was swiftly moved to a medical institution.

Three experts who observed him concluded that the suspect was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Both the prosecution and the defence argued that he could not be held criminally responsible and advocated a psychiatric commitment rather than a prison sentence.

According to the prosecution, Brathen was armed with a bow, 60 arrows and four knives on the day of the attacks. His victims were four women and one man aged from 52 to 78.

The trial is scheduled to last until June 17, with a verdict expected in the following weeks.

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