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Supreme Court of Denmark

Attempted murder judgment set aside 

Case no. 176/2015

Judgment delivered on 03 May 2016

The Public Prosecutor
T1 and T2

Attempted murder classed as intentional endangerment

T1 and T2 were accused for, among other things, attempted manslaughter after having attempted to murder one or more persons in a tattoo shop jointly and after prior agreement or mutual understanding, where A, who was under the age of criminal responsibility at the time, after prior agreement or mutual understanding with T2, and generally incited by T1, fired shots at the shop in which there were several people who were affiliated with another group than the defendants.

The High Court found the defendants guilty of attempted murder, stating, among other things, that T2 had "to have known that it was highly probable that one or more persons could be hit by the shots fired", and that this was incited by T1.

The main issue in the case before the Supreme Court was whether the defendants had an intent to commit manslaughter or only intentional endangerment. Two other issues concerned T1's soundness of mind and the expulsion of T2.

The Supreme Court ruled that, according to the High Court's findings of fact regarding the defendants' intent, there was no basis for convicting them of attempted murder, but only of intentional endangerment. 

The Supreme Court stated, among other things, that the High Court's reasoning, including the use of the word "could", had to be interpreted to the effect that the High Court had considered that T2 had regarded it as highly probable that death was a possible consequence of the shots fired. However, it could not be inferred from the High Court's reasoning that T2 had regarded death as a highly probable consequence of the shots fired.

The Supreme Court sentenced T2 to two years' imprisonment and conditional expulsion. T1 was sentenced to a psychiatric ward for a maximum period of five years.

The High Court had partly reached a different conclusion.

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