Life sentence for Kuopio college sword attacker

The court found that Joel Marin hoped to gain notoriety and be shot by police while carrying out a high profile attack.

File picture of North Save District Court / Credit: Google Maps

A court in North Savo has handed down a life sentence to a man who killed a Ukrainian student and injured nine other people in a sword attack last October.

The court found Joel Marin, born in 1994, guilty on Friday of one count of murder and 20 counts of attempted murder. The attack took place at South Savo Vocational College as Marin went on a rampage with a sword after first starting a fire at the college, which is inside Kuopio’s Herman Shopping Centre.

In addition, Marin has been ordered to pay more than €350,000 compensation to the victims and the local education authority. The money will come from state funds if Marin is not able to pay.

At the trial Marin pleaded guilty to one murder and three attempted murders, although his lawyers tried to have other charges dropped and offered a defence of diminished responsibility on the grounds of mental illness. However, a psychological examination concluded that Marin was not mentally ill at the time of the attack, and understood what he was doing.

The court heard that Marin hoped he would be shot by police, and be featured in the media, if he carried out a high profile attack. The court found the primary motivation for the attack had been suicide, and the judgement noted Marin had feelings of anger and rage, and had searched online for information about school killers and identified with their experiences.