Johan Francois Schwartz is facing an anxious wait to find out if he will face murder charges in Australia: The finance worker apprehended a home invader in his Sydney residence on Sunday and killed him in the process.
Schwartz discovered personal trainer and fitness buff Bradley Soper in his lounge at around 7:30. The Sydney Morning Herald describes how a “struggle ensued between the pair
The businessman’s young daughter was also in the house at the time, and Aussie authorities must now decide whether Schwartz used reasonable force or if he went too far in his self-defence. The inquiry is in its very early stages, and the circumstances which lead to the crime remain a mystery.
Soper competed as a body-builder on an international level and maintained a strong presence online. His strength and conditioning work is documented extensively on his Instagram page, and his followers labelled him as “an inspiration” after news of his death went public. His popularity and apparent success begs the question: What was he doing in Mr Schwartz’s house?
Australian law – much like it is in Mzansi – has a few grey areas when it comes to understanding “reasonable force”. A lawyer for the defendant says he would be “very surprised” if his client was charged, arguing that any “reasonable person” would react in the same manner if they felt their wives and kids were being threatened.
Detective Chief Inspector Shane Woolbank on Sunday suggested that Schwartz has the law on his side. He claimed that people are indeed “entitled to use reasonable force” if it means protecting themselves and the property they own: The forensic analysis could either exonerate or incriminate the SA expat.
Schwartz was released from police custody on Sunday evening and will await further news about what happens next. The case will hinge on the post-mortem, which is currently being carried out in Sydney. Results from the investigation will conclude whether the injuries sustained by Soper are consistent with the actions of a man acting in self-defence.