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Boyfriend gets life for Becky's Lapland murder; COURT REJECTS 'BREAKDOWN' PLEA Karel Frybl stabbed Scots Santa safari worker 40 times.

Byline: ALAN MCEWEN alan.mcewen@trinitymirror.com

THE boyfriend of a Scots woman who worked as a Santa tour guide has been jailed for life for murdering her in Lapland.

Crazed ex-soldier Karel Frybl, 36, stabbed Becky Johnson in the chest 10 times and left her with 30 other wounds.

Frybl - who fled the murder scene on a dog sled - had claimed to have no memory of the brutal attack at the Christmas resort.

During his trial, he admitted killing 26-year-old Becky but denied murder.

The court heard Frybl was physically and verbally abusive towards Becky, from Burntisland, Fife, who worked for the Santa Safari tour company.

A message from Becky's sister was read out in which she warned: "This will escalate and he may end up killing you."

The couple had argued the night before the fatal attack and slept in separate holiday cottages at the resort in the tiny village of Kuttanen, Finland.

Czech-born Frybl - alias Radek Kovac - murdered Becky on December 3, 2016.

As well as stab wounds to the chest. Becky suffered punctures and cuts to her head, neck, abdomen, back, hands and leg.

During Frybl's trial, Becky's colleague Caitlin Howard told how she sounded "scared and upset" as she revealed she'd been repeatedly attacked by him.

Caitlin said: "She called to say she's in an abusive relationship and that she has been kicked in the stomach by him.

"She was obviously very upset that she was in an abusive relationship. She sounded scared and upset.

"Then there were screams - just scream, scream, screams. After that the line went dead. She sounded like she was in trouble."

Lapland district court in Rovaniemi, Finland, also heard how Becky's workmate Joseph Pickles walked in on Frybl covered in blood and standing over her.

Joseph said: "I said, 'Radek, stop, stop.' Becky looked me in the eye and screamed, 'Joe, call an ambulance. He stabbed me.' "I came back into the room after making the call. The injuries looked worse than when I first saw her. There was a lot of blood. Her safari uniform was wet with blood. I touched her and realised she was gone."

After Frybl killed Becky and escaped into the wilderness, a manhunt was launched involving a helicopter, snowmobiles and dogs in temperatures of -30C.

Frybl was found cowering in the snow and suffering from hypothermia. When arrested, he had two stab wounds to his stomach, which prosecutors said were self-inflicted.

Frybl claimed Becky had attacked him when he went to her cottage.

His lawyer said Frybl served with the Czech army in Kosovo and Afghanistan, which may have left him with mental health problems that led to a temporary breakdown. Becky had been in a relationship with Frybl for several years and moved to Sweden with him in 2016.

They then began working at the Santa Safari, helping tourists with festive retreats.

Former neighbours told how Frybl had "altercations" with locals while living in the Highlands with Becky, who was a keen dog sled racer. It is understood the couple lived together in Kirkhill, near Inverness, in 2013 then moved to Tulloch, Nethy Bridge, in 2014.

A former neighbour said: "He didn't fit in well with local folk. A number of local people were concerned about this guy."

Under Finnish law, Frybl can appeal his sentence but the process could take up to a year.

There was a lot of blood. I touched her and realised she was gone colleague

CAPTION(S):

LIVING THE DREAM Becky loved sled dog racing

GUILTY Czech army veteran Karel Frybl murdered Scot Becky Johnson, right. Main pic: Universal News
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 17, 2018
Words:602
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