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Father gets life in prison for stabbing death of three year-old daughter

The sentence is not yet enforceable since the convicted man has the option of appeal.

Porvoon lyseon leikkipuisto Porvoossa.
The play park in Porvoo where the three year-old girl was fatally stabbed last November. Photo was taken in June. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Eastern Uusimaa District Court has handed down a life sentence to a French national who was convicted of murder and child kidnapping after killing his three year-old daughter last November.

The man admitted to killing the child, but denied the murder charges. However the court ruled that the deed had been exceptionally cruel and brutal and targetted a defenceless three year-old. It also found that the man's actions had been premeditated.

Now 39, the defendant had knifed the child in a play park near the Porvoo Lyceum after snatching her from her mother early in the morning.

Although police arrived on the scene within minutes of receiving a report about a violent incident, the child succumbed to her injuries in hospital.

The man and his estranged partner had been involved in a bitter custody battle over the girl. The mother said that the man grabbed the infant as she was about to drive her to daycare. He took the child to the play park where he fatally stabbed her.

A psychiatric evaluation concluded that the man was accountable for his actions.

The sentence is not yet enforceable, as the man still has the right of appeal.

Convicted criminals who receive life sentences in Finland serve an average of 13 years.

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