A Grahamstown painter was yesterday sentenced to life in jail for the brutal murder of police Warrant-Officer Alby Julius last month.
Anthony Swartz, 32, received a further 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances.
The sentences, which will run concurrently, were met with cheers, jeers, clapping and fist-pumps from Julius’s friends and family, who packed the public gallery in the Grahamstown High Court.
Swartz was mocked and shouted at while being led back down to the cells below the courtroom.
He pleaded guilty to the brutal August 6 murder and robbery of the off-duty policeman.
He said in a plea statement he had spotted the 48-year-old police detective walking home late at night, seemingly under the influence of alcohol.
He stabbed him several times and took his cellphone and R1 500 from his wallet.
Julius’s wife of 14 years, Belinda, was granted the right to hand up a victim statement to the court before sentencing. In it, she pleaded for the maximum sentence of life.