Swedish boy with multi-tools convicted of knife crime – Supreme Court reviews case

Published 28 September 2023
- By Editorial Staff
The boy had the multi-tool in the glove compartment of his A-tractor. Supreme Court in Stockholm, Sweden.

A 17-year-old boy in Sweden was charged last spring with keeping a multi-tool with a knife in his A-tractor but was acquitted by the district court. The Court of Appeal later found him guilty of violating the knife ban law – and now the case is going to the Supreme Court.

The 17-year-old was charged in April for having a multi-tool with a knife in the glove compartment of his A-tractor. The boy said that it was his father who put the tool in the vehicle in order to fix any problems with the vehicle. However, he says he was unaware that the multi-tool contained a knife.

Örebro District Court ruled that although the boy knew that the multi-tool contained a knife, it was “justified as the purpose was to have a tool to be able to repair the A-tractor should the need arise”. However, the judge disagreed and pointed out that the boy had been negligent in not checking whether the multi-tool contained a knife.

The judgment was appealed and the Court of Appeal found the 17-year-old guilty of violating the Knife Prohibition Act and imposed a daily fine. Unlike the district court, the Court of Appeal found that the multi-tool was unauthorized and that the boy had been negligent.

The Supreme Court has now granted leave to appeal in the case, reports Swedish Dagens Juridik.

The Swedish law states that “knives, other stabbing and cutting weapons and other objects suitable for use as weapons in crimes against life or health” may not be possessed in “public places, in school areas where primary or secondary education is conducted, or in vehicles in public places”.

Fact: EPA or A-tractor

An EPA tractor is a vehicle modified for use by teenagers aged 15 and older in Sweden. Typically, it’s an old car adjusted to comply with specific legal criteria, including a speed limit of 30 km/h (approximately 18.6 mph). According to the Swedish law there can only be one passenger next to the driver.

The concept originated in the 1930s in Sweden to provide young people in rural areas with a means of transportation, as the age requirement for a regular driver's license in Sweden is 18.

Operating EPA tractors requires a special tractor driving license.