Denmark father pleads guilty to murder of mother and three children

A 38-year-old man has pleaded guilty to the murder of a family found in an apartment in Brønshøj near Copenhagen Tuesday.

Denmark father pleads guilty to murder of mother and three children
A flower left on a hedge outside the apartment block where the murders took place. Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Scanpix

The man was charged with killing his three children and their mother, his defence counsel Asser Gregersen confirmed during preliminary hearings at Frederiksberg Court on Tuesday, reports news agency Ritzau.

Wearing a blue sweatshirt and jeans, the man declined to answer any further questions, reports Ritzau.

The murders took place at 7:30 am on Tuesday and both a gun and a knife were used, it was confirmed at the hearing.

A routine patrol was sent to the apartment where Police found the victims on Tuesday morning in response to a report of domestic violence, reports daily Ekstra Bladet.

Deputy inspector and leader of the investigation Ove Bundgård Larsen told the newspaper that police were meet by a “terrible scene” on entering the apartment.

The eldest of the three children was born in 2002 and the youngest in 2013.

The court agreed to a request by prosecutor Stine Winther that an injunction be taken against publication of the names of the suspect and victims, and that the preliminary hearing take place behind closed doors, reports Ritzau.

“This is a quite terrible family tragedy. It [releasing the names, ed.] would expose those close to the victims to an unnecessary intrusion,” she said.

Ritzau reports that there was then commotion between the suspect, who shouted in a language native to Afghanistan, and a number of attendees in the court room, before the room was emptied.

The suspect was held back by police, according to the report.

In addition to murder, the man is also charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Gregersen told Ekstra Bladet that the man would answer questions “at a later time”.

“It is a family tragedy, and everyone is upset. He is shattered and in shock… He did not want to answer questions today because he is in shock and feels that he would be unable to answer sufficiently. He is too likely to break down at the moment,” Gregersen said.

The man will be remanded in custody in a closed psychiatric unit for the next four weeks.


Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Crime in Copenhagen’s hippie enclave of Christiania is increasing, police in the capital say following a number of drugs-related arrests.

Why Copenhagen police say crime is on the up in Christiania

Copenhagen Police arrested three men on Saturday for selling cannabis on Pusher Street in the alternative enclave of Christiania, as they continue their efforts to stamp out the area’s former open-air cannabis market. 

According to police, 875 people were arrested for selling cannabis in the first 11 months of 2022, more than in any other year over the past four years. 

A possible explanation for the increase in arrests could be that the rewards for operating hash stands have receded, according to a police spokesperson.

“It is extremely unattractive to stand out there, and therefore a lot of new people come in who have no idea what it is all about. Many of them come from outside the catchment area, and some of them are peripherally associated with a criminal group,” Simon Hansen, head of a Copenhagen Police special unit, told newspaper Politiken.

“It’s a bit – in inverted commas – ‘easier’ for us to catch these people,” he said. 

Around half of the stalls in the street are linked to various gangs and biker gangs, such as Satudarah, Bandidos, Hells Angels and Loyal To Familia, with the rest run by people living in Christiania, the Berlingske newspaper reported earlier this month.

The trend of rising crime occurs against a background of potential housing develop in Christiania, as the enclave’s residents decide on a plan to put affordable housing in the area.

Copenhagen Police last year told news wire Ritzau that the majority of people who are arrested within Christiania come from socially underprivileged or marginalised backgrounds.

They are exploited in gang and biker circles, resulting in them in some cases operating the illicit hash market stalls, according to the police.

Conflicts between organised crime groups have reportedly become more frequently aired in the Pusher Street market.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s ‘freetown’ Christiania hangs onto soul, 50 years on