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The Pocket Man

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"The Pocket Man" (in Norwegian "Lommemannen") is the name given by the Norwegian police and media to a Norwegian sexual predator. The man who has been at large since 1976, has been charged with committing sex crimes against minors throughout Southern Norway. "The Pocket Man" might have lured boys in numerous localities and has by the Police been characterized as a "dangerous serial criminal"[1]. The last known incident of the Pocket Man took place in Skjolden in Luster on June 14, 2006. The police have registered about 160 cases.[2] The police allege that several occurrences also have not been reported. In August, 2009, the suspect was formally indicted and charged with 60 cases, including two cases of rape of small boys[3]. He cannot be prosecuted for cases that are older than ten years. The suspect has admitted to involvement in 20 of the cases[4].

The identity of "The Pocket Man" was unknown to the police until, after several years of investigation, they identified a man from Bergen who was arrested and indicted as the perpetrator on January 11, 2008. The suspect remained anonymous until he was identified as Erik Andersen (born March 20, 1952) by Norway's largest daily Verdens Gang on August 22, 2009[5].

"The Pocket Man" was during one period of the investigations known as "The Bandage Man", first time in a case from Bergen in 1980. The police realized that this was the same offender in the autumn of 2007.

Andersen was convicted and sentenced to a nine year containment sentence in June 2010.[6]

The suspectEdit

The suspect Erik Andersen (born March 20, 1952) is a millionaire from Hylkje in Bergen, Norway who ran his own garage, Eric Andersen Lakkeringsverksted. Andersen has been active in motor sports for several years, particularly as a trainer in Bergen Trial Team. He is divorced and has two children. Andersen sometimes spelled his name as Eric Andersen, despite the fact that his legal name is Erik Andersen. He was identified on the front cover of Verdens Gang, the largest newspaper of Norway, on August 22, 2009[5]. He was also identified by Bergens Tidende the following day[3]. Subsequently, he has been identified by Dagbladet[7], Nettavisen[8], TV 2[9], Dagsavisen[10], Bergensavisen[11] and Aftenposten[12]. Norwegian media had previously refrained from using his name and picture as requested by the police, in order not to harm the investigation. However, the investigation was completed in May 2009. Legally, the media are allowed to identify suspects in criminal cases[13]. Bernt Olufsen stated that Verdens Gang chose to identify him because of the scale and seriousness of the crimes, which according to Olufsen meant the public had a right to know his identity[14].

OffensesEdit

Mode of operationEdit

The modus operandi of "The Pocket Man" was the same in all known cases: The perpetrator tricked young boys to touch his genitals, for instance by tricking them to "search for" a key in his pocket, where he had removed or cut a hole in the lining, or to adjust a bandage on his thigh. The more serious offense or offenses he is to have committed includes oral sex,[15] which in some cases border on the Norwegian criminal code's definition of rape.[16]. The police allege that "The Pocket Man" on several occasions forced the boys to perform oral sex on him. Oral sex is equated with intercourse in the Norwegian penal code and has an upper limit of 21 years in prison, the maximum sentencing in Norway.[17] The police have later informed that the most serious case has an upper limit of 15 years.[18]

Other commons traits[19] of the cases are:

  • All victims were young boys aged between 6 and 12 years. Little girls were only employed as lookouts.
  • Dark-skinned victims are in clearly overrepresented.
  • Both "The Pocket Man" and "The Bandage Man" are said to have paid the victims after their offenses.
  • Various tricks were employed to lure the children.

TimeEdit

The first assault known to the police as of January 2008, took place in Åsane, Bergen[20] in the latter half of 1976. During the first years the perpetrator is said to have lured children by asking them to help change a bandage in intimate places, and he was named "The Bandage Man".[21] DNA evidence procured in 2007 revealed that "The Bandage Man" was also active in Oslo. The police therefore concluded that "The Bandage Man" and "The Pocket Man" were one and the same person.[19]

As early as 1983 or 84 "The Pocket Man" made an attempt against two boys at Garnes in Bergen. The boys ran away.[22]

On November 27, 1994 "The Pocket Man" struck at a kindergarten at Søndre Nordstrand, Oslo. As of January 2008 this is the earliest known offense by "The Pocket Man" in Oslo. Throughout the 1990s all known offenses in Oslo took place during weekends, and other offenses all took place in Bergen (the distance between Oslo and Bergen is about 500 kilometers). Starting in 2000 this pattern began to change: Incidents were no longer recorded in the Bergen area. During the subsequent years the incidents were limited to the Oslo region, until 2003 when a tendency was noticed of offenses appearing in other localities throughout Southern Norway,[23] in 2003 the person is alleged to have been both at Quality Hotel and Badeland in Sarpsborg.[24] Two incidents took place on July 13, 2002 in Sarons dal in Kvinesdal and at Hamresanden camping in Kristiansand on July 12, 2003.[25]

In January 2005 another incident took place in Sauda,[26] whereas an incident involving two victims took place in a swimming hall in Skjolden on July 14, 2006.[27] In October 2007 it became known that also Swedish police were investigating whether "The Pocket Man" was behind an offense at Svinesund.[15]

InvestigationEdit

Separate investigations before coordinationEdit

Police in Norway currently lack a centralized computer system which is able to reveal similarities between individual cases.[28] "The Pocket Man's" offenses against young boys had all been registered as independent cases.[28] Just by accident, an investigator discovered in 2003 there were several conjoined cases.[28]

The police in Ski outside Oslo were given the task of initiating a more comprehensive investigation of the itinerant serial criminal in 2003.[28] They began a cumbersome re-evaluation of the 70 registered cases from other police districts. The Ski police discovered that the evidence was basically quite flimsy, there was for instance a lack of such essentials as interrogations.[29] In May 2004 the police were nowhere near a solution to the case, and the investigation was at that time closed down.

A new team which will be working exclusively on "The Pocket Man" was established in the first two weeks of 2008 in Bergen, where investigators believe the entire case may have begun.[28] During the same period new tips arrived for this team of previously undisclosed incidents.[16]

DNA evidenceEdit

Police secured genetic fingerprinting of several crime scenes, including one incident in Trondheim, where "The Pocket Man" had been photographed by a surveillance camera on September 6, 2003.[30] DNA testing also showed that "The Bandage Man" and "The Pocket Man" were the same person.[19]

A DNA sample located in the Norwegian Institute of Forensic Medicine taken of biological matter from a sexual offense case in 1995 revealed through a renewed analysis in 2007 that the sample originated from "The Pocket Man".[31] Technically it was unfeasible to analyse the evidence in 1995, but it was stored for later analyses.[31]

Tips and names of actual menEdit

In connection with two incidents, one in Moss in 1995, and one in Bergen in 1997, "The Pocket Man" himself stated that, "I am from Moss".[32] Kripos (Norway's centralized crime investigation bureau for serious crime) believed in October 2007 that several named men from Oslo or Eastern Norway could possibly be "The Pocket Man".[23] In connection with an incident in July 1999 at Nattland, "The Pocket Man" however used an expression typical of the Bergen region,[33] and Kripos obtained DNA samples from four individuals from the Bergen area in the autumn of 2007.[34]

ApprehensionEdit

Early in the morning of January 11, 2008, in Bergen, the police apprehended the man whom they believe to be "The Pocket Man".[35] A previously unpunished man in his fifties was apprehended.[35] The man was taken subsequent to a DNA match. The police have announced that the man has left DNA evidence in five cases, and they have identified him via a video recording. On January 14 a court ruled that he would be placed in detention for four weeks with mail and visitors control restrictions,[36]. His defense attorney at that time was Tor Erling Staff. Information about the suspect that has later been published states that he is a multi-millionaire and that he has two children.[37]

Before the apprehension a secret search was conducted in the person's house.[38] One precondition for such a procedure is the offense has punishment limit of more than 10 years. Because the Norwegian criminal code equates oral sex and intercourse, the case has a punishement limit of 21 years, and hence the police were able to conduct a secret search.[39]

It is not known whether secret searches have been conducted on the up to 639,000 Norwegian men who were born between 1950 and 1970, which were analysed on the background of electronic evidence. Nor is it known whether at any time they were informed that they had been exposed to such electronic investigation.[40]

During later searches the police have allowed journalists to photograph impounded material from the house of the charged individual.[41]

Some have expressed the sentiment that the use of the terms "The Pocket Man" and "The Bandage Man" could give the impression that the offenses were of a less serious nature.[citation needed] Several newspapers are using the expression "The man charged with being The Pocket Man" about the apprehended man in order to avoid pre-judging him.[citation needed]

TrialEdit

Change of lawyerEdit

In early May 2008 it was reported[42] that the suspect had replaced his lawyer. His former lawyer, Tor Erling Staff had advised him not to talk to the police. His new lawyer, Gunhild Lærum, recently defended a teacher of similar crimes, and in that case the defendant gave a full explanation of his doings.

Investigation concludedEdit

Norwegian police rounded up their investigation in May 2009. Until then the detained suspect had been charged with 54 cases of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, however, this number was raised with an unmentioned number at that time.[2] He has admitted to involvement in 20 cases.[4] The suspect who has been detained throughout the investigation will remain in custody until at least the end of August 2009.[37] He has consistently agreed to prolonged detention to avoid being hounded by the news media should he have been released before the trial.[43]

Swedish cases uncoveredEdit

In June 2009 Swedish police announced that they had identified two unsolved abuse cases which they believe could be tied to the Pocket Man. The assaults took place in the town of Varberg on the west coast in May 2004. The detained suspect has been charged with one of these assaults. The parents of the other boy has requested that their son not be included in the charges to spare him from further police questioning.[37]

ConvictionEdit

Andersen was convicted 14 June 2010 on most of the 74 charges, most related to the sexual abuse charges and six related to violations of the weapons regulations. He was sentenced to nine years containment, such sentences can be extended by five years at a time if deemed necessary, and can in principle become a life sentence.[6] Andersen was acquitted on one of the two rape charges, although the court found that Andersen was still guilty of abuse in that incident.[44]

Andersen was also ordered to pay between NOK 20,000 and NOK 125,000 to each of his victims, in total NOK 2,525,000. He was also ordered to cover court costs totalling NOK 500,000.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2007/01/25/489900.html
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Utvider listen med overgrep i lommemann-saken" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. NTB (Oslo, Norway). May 8, 2009. http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/artikkel.php?artid=572345. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://www.bt.no/nyheter/lokalt/Tiltalt-for-voldtekt-mot-to-smaagutter-912953.html
  4. 4.0 4.1 Knutsen, Anders Sooth (May 6, 2009). "Lommemann-saken ferdig etterforsket" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang (Oslo, Norway). http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/artikkel.php?artid=562783. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/artikkel.php?artid=570583
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Holm, Per Annar; Hauge, Mari Torsdotter and Gjestad, Fred C. (14 June 2010). "Ni års forvaring i Lommemann-saken" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article3690973.ece. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  7. http://www.dagbladet.no/2009/08/24/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/tiltale/7789987/
  8. http://www.nettavisen.no/innenriks/article2594527.ece
  9. http://www.tv2nyhetene.no/innenriks/krim/lommemannen-tiltalt-for-66-overgrep-2871925.html
  10. http://www.dagsavisen.no/innenriks/article434236.ece
  11. http://www.ba.no/nyheter/krim/lommemannen/article4536070.ece?service=print
  12. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article3344092.ece
  13. http://www.kampanje.com/medier/article189267.ece?service=print
  14. http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/artikkel.php?artid=570602
  15. 15.0 15.1 Dagbladet: Lommemannen jages i Sverige Template:No icon
  16. 16.0 16.1 VG: Nye «Lommemannen»-tips i jula Template:No icon
  17. Verdens Gang: - Uforståelig angst for det seksuelle Template:No icon
  18. Aftenposten: Fant flere beviser mot «Lommemannen» Template:No icon
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 VG: Intens jakt på «Lommemannens» første offer Template:No icon
  20. Bergensavisen: Etterlyser de tre første ofrene Template:No icon
  21. Dagsavisen: Må ta Lommemannen innen seks måneder Template:No icon
  22. Bergensavisen: Her traff vi bandasjemannen Template:No icon
  23. 23.0 23.1 Aftenposten: Navngitte menn i søkelyset Template:No icon
  24. Sarpsborg Arbeiderblad: Frykter lommemannen vil "røre på seg igjen" Template:No icon
  25. Fædrelandsvennen: «Lommemannen» var på Sørlandet Template:No icon
  26. Nettavisen: Nytt spor i «lommemann»-saken Template:No icon
  27. VG: Ferieturen på Vestlandet endte i tragedie: Sønnene misbrukt av «lommemannen» Template:No icon
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Aftenposten: De oppdaget Lommemannen Template:No icon
  29. NRK: Lommemannen kunne vært tatt Template:No icon
  30. Stavanger Aftenblad: DNA-treff i jakten på lommemannen Template:No icon
  31. 31.0 31.1 Aftenposten: Politiet nærmer seg «Lommemannen» Template:No icon
  32. Dagbladet: Kripos tror «Lommemannen» kan bo i Moss Template:No icon
  33. Bergensavisen: Lommemannen røpet seg på Nattland Template:No icon
  34. Bergensavisen: Politiet tror Lommemannen er bergenser Template:No icon
  35. 35.0 35.1 Bergens Tidende: Lommemannen tatt i Bergen Template:No icon
  36. Aftenposten: - Orker ikke lese aviser Template:No icon
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 Knutsen, Anders Sooth (June 13, 2009). "Lommemannen mistenkt for overgrep mot svenske barn" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang (Oslo, Norway). http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/artikkel.php?artid=576173. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  38. Aftenposten: Sikret DNA-bevis under hemmelig ransaking Template:No icon
  39. Justis- og politidepartementet: NOU 2004: 6; Mellom effektivitet og personvern – Politimetoder i forebyggende øyemed, 7.7.4 Hemmelig ransaking Template:No icon
  40. Aftenposten: –Du blir besatt av tanken på hvem han er Template:No icon
  41. Dagbladet: - Han hentet oss i Porsche og hadde en pistol i hanskerommet Template:No icon
  42. Torgersen, Hans O.; Stein, Catherine (May 2, 2008). "Pedophile "Pocket Man" dumps his lawyer". Aftenposten (Oslo, Norway). http://www.aftenposten.no/english/article2403572.ece. Retrieved May 3, 2008.
  43. "Lommemann-siktet vil bli i fengsel" (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. NTB (Oslo, Norway). March 3, 2009. http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/lommemannen/artikkel.php?artid=557412. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  44. Gjestad, Fred C.; Holm, Per Annar and Hauge, Mari Torsdotter (14 June 2010). "Frikjent for én voldtekt" (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/iriks/article3691938.ece. Retrieved 17 June 2010.

External linksEdit

Template:Translation/Refno:Lommemannen nn:Erik Andersen

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