A Finnish court on Friday sentenced three boys to between eight and 10 years in prison for torturing and beating a former classmate to death in a crime that horrified the country.
The offence, which was ruled a murder, followed weeks of bullying by the offenders, who were aged 16 when the crime was committed in December 2020.
The defendants all denied that they attempted to murder the victim.
They assaulted him in a “particularly brutal and cruel” manner for over three hours before he died on December 4, 2020, in northern Helsinki, the court said in a press release.
It concluded that the defendants, who had known the victim since nursery, had acted in unison and planned to intoxicate the victim using strong alcohol before assaulting him. The victim had also been assaulted in the weeks leading up to the death.
The sustained assault was carried out in three different locations around Helsinki, with the victim being carried to the last place, and involved punches and kicks to the head as well as the use of blunt weapons.
The victim was also subjected to humiliating and degrading acts.
Left lying in nearly freezing temperature with little clothing for hours after the assault, the victim died, suffering from broken ribs and brain injuries, including haemorrhages.
More than 100 injuries to his body were recorded.
“This was no game, but pure violence,” prosecutor Satu Pomoell told the court during a hearing in February.
A court-appointed psychologist ruled in August that the defendants understood the consequences of their actions at the time of the attack.
The defendants were ordered to pay 12,000 euros ($14,300) to each of the victim’s parents for their pain and suffering.
The judgement is not yet final, as the defendants are able to appeal the case to a higher court.