Ex-cop handed 50-year sentence for stealing case docket, state laptop

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Former police officer Frederick George de Bruin has been sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment.
Former police officer Frederick George de Bruin has been sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment.
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  • A former police officer has been sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment.
  • He was found to have stolen a police docket and a state laptop.
  • The former warrant officer has since been dismissed from the police service.

A former police officer found guilty of stealing a police docket and a state laptop has been sentenced to 50 years' imprisonment in the Odendaalsrus Regional Court in the Free State.

Former warrant officer Frederick George de Bruin, 50, was also found guilty of possession of entrapment money.

READ | Three cops lose challenge to their dismissal after they were arrested for corruption

The court found that De Bruin approached a suspect in a reckless and negligent driving case on 20 January 2021 at about 13:00, with the promise that he could steal the police docket for R5 000. He was not investigating the case, said police spokesperson Brigadier Motantsi Makhele.

"[A] whistle-blower reported the incident to the authority and the incident was reported to the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit. An entrapment was arranged, which led to further investigations," Makhele said.

"The exchange took place, and [De Bruin] was given R5 000 cash and the whistle-blower was given the police docket in which he was a suspect. While members of the Anti-Corruption Unit were busy searching the arrested member's house, a receipt of a pawn shop was found, where a state laptop was pawned. R5 000 [cash] was also found in his possession," Makhele said.

The laptop was found at a pawn shop in Odendaalsrus and seized.

De Bruin was charged with corruption, theft of a laptop, theft of a police docket and defeating the ends of justice.

"He was dismissed from the SAPS through an expeditious process," Makhele added.

"The sentence is a clear-cut message that corruption does not pay and that... police management will never tolerate any act of corruption within our ranks," Free State police commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane said.

"We commend the judiciary and thorough investigation conducted by a dedicated team to remove those who are criminals hiding behind our dignified badge," Motswenyane said.

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