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Ex-soldier who stabbed girlfriend over 30 times has murder conviction overturned

Ex-soldier who stabbed girlfriend over 30 times has murder conviction overturned

A former soldier who knifed his British girlfriend more than 30 times in a brutal killing has overturned his murder conviction.

Tour guide Rebecca (Becky) Johnson, from Burntisland, Fife, was stabbed to death by Karel Frybl in a "frenzied attack" in Lapland, Finland, in December 2016.

Frybl, 36, inflicted more than 30 wounds to Ms. Johnson's head, back, chest and abdomen, but no claim to have a 26-year-old.

He was found guilty of murder and jailed for life in February this year, but he filed an appeal to overturn the conviction and reduce his sentence, the Daily Record reports.

Appeal judges did not believe it was a premeditated or particularly cruel attack.

Karel Frybl's life sentence has been reduced to 11 years

They overturned Czech-born Frybl's conviction at an appeal hearing on Friday.

He will now serve 11 years for homicide instead of his life sentence for murder.

Under Finnish law, it means judges the killing was not premeditated or particularly cruel.

Ms. Johnson, 26, begged for an ambulance as she laydying

Ms Johnson and Frybl both worked as guides at a remote husky ranch, giving sled rides to tourists.

They had been in a relationship for several years, and Ms. Johnson moved to Sweden with him in 2016.

Following an argument, Frybl stabbed the British woman more than 30 times.

A knife that Frybl used to stab Ms. Johnson repeatedly

At trial, a panel of judges heard how 10 of the knife wounds were fatal blows, and they described the incident as "brutal and cruel".

Joseph Pickles, Ms Johnson was slumped in a pool of blood, with Frybl above her holding a knife Joseph Pickles, where the temperature was -30C on the day of the attack .

Ms. Johnson pleaded for an ambulance but died before help arrived.

Police released an image showing where Ms. Johnson was stabbed through her jacket

Frybl fled the murder scene and later claimed no memory of the brutal attack at the Christmas resort.

During his trial, he admitted killing Ms. Johnson but denied murder.

The court heard Frybl was physically and verbally abusive towards his partner, who worked for the Santa Safari tour company.

Ms. Johnson worked for the Santa Safari tour company

Ms. Johnson's sister sent a message warning: "This will escalate and he'll end up killing you."

The court heard that the couple had argued the night before December 3, 2016, attack and slept in separate holiday cottages at the tiny resort of Kuttanen, Finland.

During the trial, Mr. Pickles told how he walked in on Frybl, covered in blood and standing over Ms. Johnson, and begged him to stop as Ms. Johnson pleaded for an ambulance.

Screams were heard coming from the couple's cabin

Mr. Pickles said: "I said, 'Radek, stop, stop'. Becky looked me in the eye and screamed, "Joe, call an ambulance. He stabbed me '.

"I came back into the room after making the call. The injuries looked worse than when I first saw her.

"There was a lot of blood. The safari uniform was wet with blood. I touched her and realized she was gone. "

Police launched a manhunt for the killer in -30C temperatures

The trial heard from Ms. Johnson's colleague Caitlin Howard, who told the British tour guide sounded "scared and upset" during a distressing phone call.

Ms. Howard said: "She is called in her abusive relationship and she has kicked in the stomach by him.

"She was obviously very upset that she was in an abusive relationship. She sounded scared and upset.

"Then there were screams – just scream, scream, screams. After that the line went dead. She sounded like she was in trouble. "

Frybl was initially convicted or murdering Ms Johnson

After killing Ms Johnson, Frybl fled but was found cowering in the snow and suffering from hypothermia during a manhunt involving a helicopter, snowmobiles and dogs in temperatures or -30C.

When he was arrested he had two stab wounds to his stomach, which prosecutors told his trial were self-inflicted.

Frybl claimed Ms. Johnson had attacked him when he went to her cottage.

His barrister told his trial that Frybl had served with the Czech army in Kosovo and Afghanistan, which led to a temporary breakdown.

Former neighbors told how Frybl had "altercations" with locals and "did not fit in well" while living in the Scottish Highlands with Ms. Johnson, who was a dog sled racer, before their move to Scandinavia.

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