"The 14-year-old boy got second-degree burns. Photo: The police investigation

Lundsberg pupil: "No intention to hurt anyone"

"Can't you hear?! Lie down!" the boy was told before the hot iron was placed against his back. Was this a threat and a scaring tactic - or a joke that went wrong? The experience from the initiation ritual at the prestigious Lundsberg boarding school were divided - that much was clear, reports the news agency TT from the trial against nine pupils and one staff member, which started on Wednesday.

The incident at the school meant that a 14-year-old boy was taken to hospital with a second-degree burns. The boy told the court how the pupils came into his and his room mate's room and ordered them to lie down on the floor.

"I cried because it hurt. I was pretty scared," the boy told the court. He said he was not prepared for any initiation rites.

Another three boys were subjected to the same treatment, but were not burned. They all claim they knew about the initiation rites and that they were in on it. "I thought this was exciting and had been looking forward to it pretty much," one of them told the court. TT reports that he says he knew that it was just for fun, when the iron was brought out.

All nine pupils stand accused of unlawful threats and assault. Two are also accused of causing physical harm. They all deny any wrongdoing.

The boy who plugged in the iron talked in court about "rough love", saying that the purpose of the initiation rites were not to scare anyone but to play a trick on the younger pupils. The fact that the iron burnt the boy was a mistake, he said, as it was only supposed to be plugged in for a short while before being quietly removed, in order to give the impression that it was warm. The plug, however, got stuck in the wall for a few seconds. "We had no intention of hurting anyone and it was all done with a twinkle in the eye," the 18-year-old told the court. He says he had never used an iron before, TT reports.

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