Young Durban Cop Sentenced to 30 Years For Robbing, Killing Drug Dealer

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Once a great promise for Durban’s fight to restore law and order, 24-year-old Austine Reynold has been banished to spend most of his adult life in prison.

On Friday, 29 November, the Durban High Court sentenced Reynold to 30 years imprisonment for his active participation in the robbery and subsequent murder of a foreign national known only as ‘Frank’.

How money hunger drove promising Durban cop to life in jail

As reported by IOL News, Reynolds was a Constable at Umbilo police station. His friend and colleague, Sanele Sithebe, described him as a young man with a good heart. Also, as far as he knew it, Reynolds was a church-going person.

However, the court would come to find out about Reynolds’ deception and his love for material things that were way above his pay-grade.

According to Barnabas John from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Reynolds has had a brush with the other side of the law, three years ago.

He and two colleagues were convicted of accepting bribes and sentenced to a suspended ten years imprisonment. However, interestingly, he was never relieved of his duties.

The police would come to learn about the 24-year-old’s true nature when he was cuffed and charged with murdering Frank, a foreign national who was allegedly dealing drugs from a den in central Durban, in January 2018.

Court disregards pleas of innocence, hands down maximum sentence

Based on the State’s evidence, Reynolds went to Frank’s den with two intentions: to feed his drug habit and to rob the foreign national.

However, the court would hear testimony from Brindley Barlow, the man who Reynolds was accompanied by, about how Reynolds had attacked Frank moments after using his cocaine.

Reynold’s defence placed Barlow as the frontman in the crime. The 24-year-old countered the State’s evidence, claiming that it was their star witness who handled the gun, assaulted Frank and mistakenly killed him.

However, Barlow was exonerated from all charges based on testimony from eyewitnesses who claim that he had stood aside and watched the Constable use his service gun to accost the foreign national.

In delivering the judgment on this matter, the court ruled that Reynolds had no intention of murdering the foreign national. However, he had a price to pay for acting recklessly in the way he handled the weapon.

Therefore, the rogue Durban cop was sentenced to a maximum of 30 years for the robbery and manslaughter.

Reynolds who has lost his adolensence to a life of crime will be 54 years old when he is released from prison.