Lapland killer to undergo pyschiatric tests

Rebecca Johnson
Rebecca Johnson

A former soldier who admitted killing his Burntisland girlfriend is to be evaluated by a psychiatrist before a judge passes sentence

Karel Frybl (36) stabbed 26-year-old Rebecca Johnson to death last December while the two were working as husky sled guides at a wilderness safari company in Finland.

The court earlier heard Ms Johnson had sustained ten stab wounds in her chest and another 30 punctures and cuts on other parts of her body.

Czech national Frybl - who also goes by the name Radek – admitting to killing his girlfriend but claims to have no memory of the attack.

Today, a two-day trial ended with a judge ordering psychiatric evaluations to be conducted in order to establish whether Frybl will be sentenced for homicide or murder.

During the second day of testimony, colleague Caitlin Howard testified she was speaking with Ms Johnson on the phone when the attack took place and that “she sounded scared and upset”.

“She called me to tell me she was in an abusive relationship and she had been kicked in the stomach the night before by Radek,” she said.

Then, Ms Howard heard Johnson scream three times.

“The line went completely dead and I didn’t hear any more,” she said.

A second colleague, Joe Pickles, was just three or four metres outside Johnson’s cabin when he also heard the screams.

He ran inside, and found Frybl standing over Ms Johnson, who was slumped in a pool of blood but alive, and managed to tell him to call an ambulance.

Later, when Frybl left the cabin, Mr Pickles went back inside to check on Ms Johnson.

“I couldn’t see the damage to her body” he told the court “but from what I could see she had been cut like this”.

He then made a slashing motion across his face.

Mr Pickles said: “She was gone at this point. I touched her and I realised she was gone”.

Prosecutors argued the severity of the attack and high number of knife wounds, meant Frybl should be convicted of murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in Finland.

Frybl’s lawyer said the case did not warrant a murder conviction because the attack was over very quickly, Ms Johnson’s death was not prolonged and there was no premeditation involved.

“Something snapped in his mind” she told the court, where Rebecca Johnson’s relatives were also sitting. “He lost control.”