4yrs in jail, damages: Finnish man sentenced after defending against home invasion

© Carlos Jasso
A homeowner in Finland has been sentenced to four years in jail and a hefty fine after fighting off three intruders who attempted to rob his house. The thieves, meanwhile, got lesser prison terms and are to be paid damages by their victim.

In April, a 35-year-old man from Hyvinkää, a town just 50km north of the Finnish capital, Helsinki, heard a knock on the front door of his suburban house and rushed to open it. As soon as he unlocked it, three strangers rushed in and launched at him, toting baseball bats and a gun. The man retreated to the kitchen, where he found a knife and with it was able to overpower the intruders, two men and one woman.

The court spent nearly four months examining the case to come up with the unexpected ruling.

The homeowner has been convicted of “excessive self-defense and attempted manslaughter,” Helsinki news . He will serve an unconditional sentence for four years and two months, which he has to spend in prison. The man also has to pay damages to his attackers, with the fine totaling €21,000 (US$23,000). The newspaper does not provide information on the severity of injuries sustained by the home-invaders, however, it is known that they survived the event.

The attackers were also convicted for felony home invasion and assault, yet their punishments are much less harsh.

All three received one-year-and-two-month conditional sentences, which is similar to probation or house arrest in Finland, depending on the case. The offender serves the sentence outside of jail, but has to follow strict jail-like rules.

The trio was also ordered to pay the homeowner damages, but their combined fine was ruled to be €3,000 (US$3,300).

Fines and conditional sentences are the most common punishments in Finland. The lengths of prison sentences have recently increased, although Finnish prison terms are exceptionally short in an international context.