FLANKED by her family and about 30 local police, the widow of murdered Tamworth police officer David Rixon y
Senior Constable Rixon’s killer Michael Allan Jacobs, 49, will never be released from prison after Justice Richard Button sentenced him to life without parole for the March 2012 murder. Nearly a quarter of the Oxley Local Area Command packed into the court to hear the sentence, forming a guard of honour as the policeman’s widow, Fiona Rixon, and their children left court.
“I’m very proud of my children – we’ve been through this hurricane, tornado, rollercoaster ride, whatever you want to call it, for the last 18 months,’’ an emotional Mrs Rixon said.
“Hopefully now life will be a little bit more quiet.’’
In a landmark decision, Jacobs became the first person sentenced to life in prison under new laws requiring a mandatory life sentence for anyone who murders an on-duty police officer.
“Let this serve as an example to all those in the future who think it’s OK to harm our police officers,” NSW Police Minister Mike Gallacher said after the decision.
“This decision today draws a line in the sand.”
On March 2 last year, Jacobs shot and killed Senior Constable Rixon, a 40-year-old father-of- six, during what the officer had thought was a regulation breath test on Lorraine St, West Tamworth.
During a month-long trial earlier this year, the court was told the experienced highway patrolman had recognised Jacobs as a disqualified driver and followed him from nearby Gunnedah Rd to a block of flats on the quiet side street.
Constable Rixon’s police microphone recorded him saying: “G’day mate, how you going?”
In an increasingly distressed voice he is then heard to say: “I’m just gonna breath-test you, buddy”.
Jacobs then fired a single shot from a .38 calibre pistol that went straight through Constable Rixon’s left wrist and into his chest, puncturing his heart and lung. The officer returned fire, hitting Jacobs in the leg, abdomen and shoulder, but collapsed onto the ground soon after.
Jacobs is heard to say :“Die ... I’m sorry sir, sorry, sorry”.
The fallen officer’s last act was to handcuff his killer.
Jacobs later claimed it was not he, but local drug dealer Terrence James Price who fired the fatal shot after Constable Rixon “interrupted’’ them in the middle of a drug deal, but this was rejected by the jury.
In sentencing Jacobs to life in prison, Justice Richard Button said the 49-year-old had no apparent motive for committing the crime and had shown little or no remorse afterwards.
“It is almost impossible to believe that, in order to avoid being briefly refused bail, or at worst, a sentence of a matter of months ... the offender saw fit to fire a handgun at a police officer.
“The murder of a police officer in such circumstances is a direct assault upon our system of parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.”