HELSINKI, Aug 11, 1999 (Reuters) - A Finnish court jailed a 24-year-old man for life on Wednesday for the murder of a male friend in a satanist ritual involving torture, cannibalism and necrophilia.
The district court in the small town of Hyvinkaa, near Helsinki, also sentenced a 17-year-old woman to over eight years in prison for the same murder. A third defendant in the case, a 20-year-old man, was jailed for almost three years for grievous bodily harm.
"The district court considers the victim was killed through sustained torture and, in the last instance, by suffocation,'' the court said in a document released after the verdict.
It said the three defendants, with strong leanings towards satanism, had listened to heavy metal music and drunk home-made alcohol before attacking their 23-year-old friend, who the prosecutor said was also committed to satanism.
The three ate parts of their victim and sexually abused the body before sawing it into small pieces, the court said.
In the days following the murder, last November 21, body parts were found on rubbish tips in the Hyvinkaa area.
The court also found the 24-year-old man guilty of torturing and killing his dog as a sacrifice on Hallowe'en.
Authorities have recently become concerned over acts of vandalism, such as desecration of graveyards, suggesting young Finns are showing increased interest in satanism. Police said, however, that the Hyvinkaa case was the first murder linked to the cult.