Picture: Pixabay

Durban - A 24-year-old police officer has been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for a murder and robbery which he committed in November 2017.

Austin Reynold was a constable at the Pinetown police station. He was convicted last week of the murder of a Nigerian national. During proceedings, it was alleged that Reynold had been ordered to kill the man, an alleged drug dealer, at the request of another rival drug dealer. 

The man died after Reynold struck him on the back of his head with a cocked gun. That triggered the shot that penetrated the back of Frank’s head and exited through his face.

Reynold then robbed the man and went on to rob two more people of their personal belongings, at gunpoint. 

Police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson, Sontaga Seisa, said they welcomed news of the officer's arrest.

Ipid Acting Executive Director, Victor Senna, has issued his thanks and appreciation to the investigation team, led by Len John.  

Previously, the Sunday Tribune reported that Judge Shyam Gyanda, who presided over the case, described Reynold as a “self-confessed liar” who had “intentionally shot and killed” the dealer who Reynold referred to as “Frank”.

According to Sunday Tribune, Judge Gyanda refuted Reynold’s attempt to pin the blame on Brindley Barlow, a long-time family friend who was present but did not participate in the crimes. 

He described Barlow’s testimony as “truthful”, gave him indemnity from prosecution and asked the 21-year-old to now “stay on the right side of the track”. 

Proceedings last week drew the attention of representatives from the Nigerian Consulate General’s office and media from that country. 

The Mercury