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Man sentenced to life imprisonment after murdering Scottish girlfriend

Rebecca Johnson (image courtesy of Dundee Courier)
Rebecca Johnson (image courtesy of Dundee Courier)

A man has been found guilty of murdering his Scottish girlfriend in Lapland.

Karel Frybl stabbed Rebecca Johnson 40 times in the attack at a cottage in Kultimantie in December 2016.

She had defensive wounds and some stab wounds to her back meaning she must have turned away from her attacker at some point as she tried to escape.

Ms Johnson, 26, from Burntisland, Fife, was a member of the Santa Safari team which works with Oxford-based tour operator Transun Travel to organise Christmas-themed excursions to Lapland.

Mr Frybl has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder.

After the attack he left the scene with some of his dogs and walked around two-and-a-half miles into the woods before being arrested.

Mr Frybl admitted culpable homicide at an earlier court hearing but had denied the murder.

The Czech national claimed he suffered a loss of control at the time of the attack and could not recall anything of the stabbings.

However a psychiatric report ordered by the court found that he was not insane at the time of the incident.

The court in Rovaniemi found there was no doubt the crime was committed in a “particularly ferocious, brutal and violent manner”.

It said the violence she suffered was well beyond culpable homicide and found him guilty of murder.

Mr Frybl, also known as Radek Kovac, had “altercations” with neighbours and locals when the couple lived in the Highlands.

The couple, who were both keen husky dog racers, are understood to have lived together in the Kirkhill area, outside Inverness, with Ms Johnson moving there at the end of 2013.

The pair are thought to have then moved to Tulloch, Nethy Bridge, in 2014.

In Finland a life sentence is rarely more than 14 years.

Mr Frybl was also told to pay just under 40,000 euros in compensation.

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