THEY were the words they had longed to hear and it provoked a wave of emotion.
“Michael Allan Jacobs, you are convicted of the offence of murder. I sentence you to imprisonment for life,” Justice Richard Button told a packed Supreme Court room yesterday afternoon.
It was short.
It was straight to the point – and it was what they had waited 18 months for.
Life means life and never to be released.
Michael Allan Jacobs, 49, would only ever see the light of day from a prison cell, far away from the tragedy he dealt in a West Tamworth street on March 2, 2012.
Officers wept and consoled one another in court. And, back on the ground in the Oxley force, the police radio beamed an urgent message. It was not one they would dread, however.
“News just in from the Supreme Court in Sydney – Michael Allan Jacobs has been handed a life sentence in prison for the murder of Senior Constable David Rixon,” the operator said.
The palpable relief washed over them all.
Like one officer said: “Police needed to hear it, we needed it.”
They’d spent six hours on a bus, leaving at first light for the sentencing.
The men and women in blue from Oxley filed out of the Sydney courtroom to form an honour guard, those closest to Senior Constable Rixon, following in their footsteps.
The sentencing of Jacobs took little under an hour and detailed the chilling facts about a case that has captured not only Tamworth’s but the state’s attention since the fatal shots were fired in Lorraine St last year. The intention to kill finally recognised on the courtroom floor. Justice Button told the packed courtroom it was there – maybe only momentarily, but it was there.
“That intention may have been held only fleetingly and utterly irrationally, but nevertheless,” he said.
“At the time the offender murdered the deceased, he intended to kill him.
“I consider that it has been established to the criminal standard.”
Jacobs never took the stand during the five-week trial. Instead, dozens of officers and experts detailed what unfolded on that day. The murderer instead pointed the finger at Terrence “Terry” Price.
But it didn’t stand up in court, a jury dismissing it in just under an hour.
Justice Button fired his own warning shots from the bench, detailing that blame laid behind the court dock. “One life – that of Senior Constable David Rixon – has been irrevocably taken,” he said.
DAVID RIXON TIMELINE
MARCH 2, 2012 – just before 8am Senior Constable David Rixon pulls Michael Allan Jacobs over for a routine traffic stop in Lorraine St, West Tamworth before he is shot and killed.
MARCH 2, 2012 – Jacobs is arrested at the scene after Senior Constable Rixon handcuffs his murderer to him.
MARCH 4, 2012 – Jacobs remains on life support after being airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle.
MARCH 8, 2012 – Senior Constable David Rixon is farewelled at a funeral with full police honours.
MARCH 20, 2012 – Police charge Jacobs with the murder at a bedside visit in hospital.
JUNE, 2012 – Jacobs appears via videolink in Tamworth Local Court as court proceedings get under way.
NOVEMBER 7 – Jacobs’s case is sent to the NSW Supreme Court.
DECEMBER 8, 2012 – Jacobs pleads not guilty to murder during an arraignment in the NSW Supreme Court.
JUNE 11, 2013 – The trial empanels a jury in the Supreme Court before it is discharged the next day.
JUNE 13 2013 – A new jury is empanelled for the murder trial and opening submissions begin.
JULY 15, 2013 – A jury takes just an hour to hand down a verdict of guilty.
AUGUST, 2013 – Sentencing submissions are heard in the NSW Supreme Court.
OCTOBER 4, 2013 – Michael Allan Jacobs is sentenced to life in prison for murdering a police officer.