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Neo-Nazi aggravated assault convict requests Supreme Court appeal hearing

Helsinki District Court sentenced Jesse Torniainen to two years in prison for an aggravated assault near the city's central railway station in December 2016.

Helsingin Asema-aukion törkeästä pahoinpitelystä käräjäoikeudessa tuomittu Jesse Torniainen asian käsittelyssä Helsingin hovioikeudessa perjantaina 15. joulukuuta 2017.
Neo-Nazi Jesse Torniainen. File photo. Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Jesse Torniainen, a neo-Nazi who was handed down a two-year sentence for an aggravated assault conviction in 2016, has applied to Finland's Supreme Court to appeal his sentence.

Helsinki's Court of Appeals confirmed the court had received Torniainen's appeal application on Wednesday.

During the trial of that case, the court heard that Torniainen had kicked a man in the chest as he was standing, resulting in the victim falling down to the pavement and hitting his head. The victim died nearly a week later of bleeding in his brain but the court said it was unable to determine whether his death was a direct result of the assault.

The incident at Helsinki Central Railway Station

According to court documents at the time, the victim suffered a fractured skull, and cerebral bruising and bleeding following the attack. The victim was hospitalised and released the following week, but died shortly thereafter, six days after the assault. The cause of death was determined to be bleeding of the brain.

Prosecutors had initially requested that Torniainen be charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter and to receive a 5.5 to six year prison term. But those charges were thrown out on the basis of hospital and medical records and testimony provided by medical professionals.

The district court said that it was not possible to determine that the victim had died as a direct result of the assault, saying that the victim's use of narcotic drugs and medicine may have inhibited healing of the injuries he sustained in the incident.

The district court convicted Torniainen on a lesser charge of aggravated assault, but sharpened his sentence saying that the assault was racially motivated and handed him a two-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors in the case have not filed to appeal the case, according to Helsinki's Court of Appeals.

Torniainen has a long string of other assaults and weapons convictions, including one for stabbing an immigrant in 2008. He was also found to have led a neo-Nazi riot in Jyväskylä in mid-2015.

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