A 22-year-old student has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison for the brutal murder of celebrated Russian journalist Dmitry Tsilikin.

Sergei Kosyrev stabbed Tsilikin more than 30 times in the journalist’s apartment in St. Petersburg March last year.

Tsilikin stole the 54-year-old’s phone phone, laptop and wallet.

In a closed hearing, the court heard that the pair had initially met on the internet. Kosyrev later attacked Tsilikin following a “sudden quarrel.”

Joseph Gabunia, the student’s lawyer, told RIA Novosti his client intends to appeal the verdict.