Clarence Roy PIRIE
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 5824
Shot – Murdered
Born 22 August 1920
Joined NSW Police Force 15 September 1947
Died 13 October 1960
Senior Constable Clarrie Pirie was the Officer-in-Charge of the Capertee Police Station from 1958 until his death on 13 October, 1960. On that day he was informed by Lithgow Police that two male offenders had abandoned a stolen car at Cudgigong, north of Capertee.
While patrolling the area Senior Constable Pirie found two fourteen year-olds with a vehicle at a roadside camping area at Jews Creek, ten miles south of Capertee. These however were not the two offenders the police were searching for and as such Constable Pirie did not know that on the previous day the pair had escaped from the Yasmar children’s detention centre ( Lidcombe ) and had broken into a dwelling where they stole several items of property and the vehicle before driving to the Jews Creek area.
As the constable was talking to the young offenders one of them suddenly produced a .22 rifle and shot Constable Pirie. He died a short time later. Both youths were captured the following day.
The senior constable was born in 1920 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 15 September, 1947. At the time of his death he was stationed at Capertee.
As an aside – Clarence PIRIE was the cousin of Victor AHEARN who was also shot and murdered in 1946 aged 40.
Friday, 20 September 2013
The tragic death of Clarie Pirie
The Canberra Times Friday 14 October 1960 page 1 of 28
Constable Shot Dead In Chase
SYDNEY, Thursday: – Police were to-night conducting one of the largest manhunts ever in the Central Western district for two youths who are alleged to have shot dead Senior Constable Clarence Roy Pirie, 40, of Cullen Bullen.
The constable was chasing two youths on the Capertee Cullen Bullen Road early to- night.
Pirie, a father of four, was believed to have been killed with a .22 rifle.
Police from Lithgow, Bathurst, Mount Victoria, Kandos, Rylstone, Katoomba, Oberon, Orange and other centres are searching dense bush near Jews Creek.
Police from other Central Western stations and from Sydney will join the searchers to-morrow.
The searchers are heavily armed with rifles and riot guns.
Other specialised weapons will arrive from Sydney to-morrow.
At 9 a.m. to-day a stolen car was found abandoned at Cudgegong.
Two youths were seen to leave the car and police in the area were alerted.
Constable Pirie sighted two youths in a second stolen car on the Lithgow-Mudgee Road near Jew’s Creek.
The stolen car overturned at high speed about a half mile farther on.
Two youths scrambled from the wreck and fled into the bush.
Constable Pirie followed them.
Police believe that the elder youth, realising that Pirie was following them, turned and fired the shot which fatally wounded the policeman.
The Canberra Times Wednesday 19 October 1960 page 29 of 33
Murder Charge Remand For Boy
LITHGOW, Tuesday:- A 14-year-old Sydney boy was remanded in Lithgow Children’s Court to-day on a charge of murdering a policeman.
He was remanded till November 1 without bail and will be detained in custody until that date.
The boy was charged with having murdered Constable Clarence Roy Pirie at Jews Creek camping reserve on October 13.
Police prosecutor Sergeant J. S. Smith said the youth charged with murder had escaped from a Sydney boys’ home on October 12 and together with another boy had stolen a car.
The car was allegedly parked at Jews Creek’ Camping reserve the next day.
When Const. Pirie approached the vehicle he was allegedly shot dead.
The Canberra Times Tuesday 7 March 1961 page 3 of 20
Boy, 15, Goes To Gaol For 15 Years
SYDNEY, Monday: — Christopher Lindsay, 15, went to gaol to-day for 15 years for killing a policeman last year.
Mr. Justice Else Mitchell described the fair-haired, well-dressed boy as a “young gangster.”
Lindsay, of Alice Street, Newtown, did not appear to be emotionally upset at the sentence.
He turned to court officials who led him from the dock to the cells below.
The sight of the boy being led away brought an outburst of sobbing from the public gallery.
Lindsay last week had pleaded not guilty to having murdered Constable Clarence Roy Pirie, 39, at Jews Creek Camping Reserve off the Mudgee Road near Cullen Bullen on October 13 last.
The Crown accepted Lindsay’s plea of guilty of man slaughter.
Lindsay – standing in the dock of Central Criminal Court with hands clasped in front of him – heard Mr. Justice Else Mitchell say that the deposition and Lindsay’s own signed statement left slender ground for the lesser offence.
“Before committing this crime, you had shown a refusal both in England and in this country to conform with the laws which are made for the good of society.
“From the record, it is clear that the processes of the habitation and reform which are provided by the country here have made no impact on your attitude or conduct.
“In pursuit of this anti-social conduct you twice escaped from Yasma shelter, where you were being detained awaiting trial for various charges, and on the second occasion in company with a confederate, younger than yourself, stole a rifle, food, other goods and then a motor car in which you travelled to the scene of the crime.
“When you were in fear of apprehension by a constable of the police for the theft of the car you did not hesitate to shoot him because as you said ‘You did not want him to catch you with the car.’
“Your subsequent conduct and your attempt to evade capture though perhaps natural do not appear to have been accompanied by any manifestation of c0ntrition or remorse, a fact which seems to me all the more serious in view of Dr. McGeorge’s conclusion that you are not suffering from any mental or psychiatric disorders.
“A substantial sentence appears to be necessary not only for the reasons I mentioned but as the only possible way in which you may begin to understand your obligations to society.”
Boy Killer’s Appeal Fails
SYDNEY, Friday:— The Full Supreme Court to-day dismissed a school boy’s appeal against a 15-year sentence for the manslaughter of a policeman.
The boy, Christopher Lindsay, 15, appealed against the severity of the sentence.
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell, in Central Criminal Court, had sentenced Lindsay to 15 years gaol for the manslaughter of Constable
Clarence Roy Pirie, at Jew’s Creek, last October.
Pirie was questioning Lindsay on a car theft at the time.
Lindsay to-day conducted his own case before the Full Bench — comprising the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Evatt, Mr. justice Herron and Mr. Justice Hardie.
He handed the bench a written statement, headed —’ “No Discourtesy.”
The statement read: “I respectfully submit that His Honour, at the time of imposing the severe sentence for manslaughter, regarded the offence as tantamount to murder.
“I further most respectfully submit the crime was not premeditated.
“The whole tragedy took place in a matter of seconds.
“At no time did I intend this man’s death.
“I respectfully submit that a 14-year-old youth to be sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for a crime he did not intend, is too severe.”
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell, reported to the Full Court, that Lindsay’s offence was hardly distinguishable from murder.
However, he had felt that he was bound by the Crown’s acceptance of the manslaughter plea.
Lindsay originally had been charged with murder.
Mr. Justice Else-Mitchell said it had been submitted he should not impose a crushing sentence.
He also was mindful of the danger with a youthful offender — that the imposition of a heavy gaol sentence often could produce more harm than good.
The Full Court ruled unanimously against Lindsay’s appeal.
It added that Lindsay’s crime called for the greatest condemnation.
REPRESENTATIVES from Orange Police Station will today attend a national memorial in Canberra for Police Remembrance Day.
For Inspector Greg Pringle and Canobolas Local Area administration manager John Pirie, the day bears a special significance.
John Pirie was just coming up to his fifth birthday when his 40-year-old father Senior Constable Clarence Roy Pirie was shot at point-blank range and killed near Capertee.
It was on October 13, 1960, that Mr Pirie’s father was patrolling when he came across a stolen vehicle. He stopped the vehicle and spoke to two youths inside, but one of them pulled a gun on Snr Const Pirie and shot him.
Inspector Pringle’s experience is in contrast, but he agrees the grief that comes with losing a colleague on the job remains for many years.
“I was with highway patrol working out of Cootamundra in 1988. I had a cup of tea with a fellow officer Constable Kurt Schetor before we headed off to patrol in separate directions,” Insp Pringle said.
Ten minutes later the then Constable Pringle received a call to respond to a crash and he arrived to find his friend and colleague was in involved in a head-on crash with a truck.
“I did my best but I couldn’t revive him,” he said.
Insp Pringle said many police officers carried a burden of grief with them for colleagues who died on the job.
“In many ways it is harder to deal with your own grief,” he said.
“When you are a police officer your ‘tank’ is full of other people’s grief because that’s part of the job. But it doesn’t leave much left.”
Officers from Canobolas Local Area Command will not be marking Police Remembrance Day in Orange this year.
Instead, this year’s service will be held at Cowra which is part of the Canobolas Local Area Command.
Family honours a dad’s sacrifice
Stopped at my Dad’s park and had a cuppa a few days ago, often wonder how different our lives would have been if he hadn’t been killed. I will, in my elderly mother’s honor, ride the Wall to Wall ( of Remembrance ) this September.