James AFFLECK – VA
aka Jim, Jamie to his family
New South Wales Police Force
Police Academy Class 159
ProCst Regd. # 92373
Regd. # 18315
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 18 September 1978
Constable 1st Class – appointed 29 August 1984
Senior Constable – appointed 29 August 1988
Stations: ?, Hurstville HWP, Campbelltown HWP – Death
Awards: National Medal – granted 2 February 1995
Born: 9 July 1957
Died: 14 January 2001
Cause: Murdered – by Motor Vehicle whilst using Road Spikes to stop a stolen vehicle which drove straight at, and collided with, him.
Location: Hume Hwy ( north bound ), Glen Alpine
Funeral date: 18 January 2001
Funeral location: Camden Civic Centre
Grave site: Interred in Woronora Cemetery on 3 June 2003
General Plaque Lawn. Lawn 4 Position 0796
Memorial: Jim Affleck Bridge, Hume Hwy, Glen Alpine, NSW
About 8.40am on 14 January, 2001 police were attempting to stop a stolen vehicle during a high speed pursuit at Mittagong. Approval was given to place road spikes on the roadway and Senior Constable Affleck and other police did this near the Mark Evans Bridge, Glen Alpine. When the offending vehicle, travelling north, reached the spikes the driver intentionally swerved from one side of the north bound laned road to the other, hitting the senior constable, who was killed instantly. The driver was later arrested and charged with murder.
The senior constable was born in 1957 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 18 September, 1978. At the time of his death he was attached to the Campbelltown Highway Patrol.
Campbelltown mourns 13th anniversary of police officer’s death
- Macarthur Chronicle Campbelltown
- January 15, 2014
IT’S been 13 years since highway patrol officer Jim Affleck was run down by a car on the Hume Highway.
But as nearly 100 people packed into the Campbelltown police station carpark yesterday to mark the anniversary of Sen Constable Affleck’s death, it was clear his legacy still burns strong.
Fellow officers, his widow Trish, and even a great nephew were among those to pay tribute to Sen Constable Affleck during a memorial yesterday.
The congregation gathered around the memorial garden dedicated to Sen Constable Affleck to lay wreaths and share kind words in honour of the police officer.
Sen Constable Affleck’s car and police hat were present for the service.
The day marked 13 years since Sen Constable Affleck was run down by a car on the Hume Highway near Menangle on January 14, 2001, while laying road spikes to stop a stolen vehicle whose occupants were wanted for robberies.
Campbelltown police Insp Jason Inkster said the command believed it was important to honour Sen Constable Affleck’s sacrifice each year.
“It’s important because Jim was attached to the command at the time the incident occurred,” he said. “It’s important to remember our colleagues killed in the line of duty.
“I think it means a lot to his fellow officers and family, showing that we still remember the commitment and sacrifice made by Jim.”
Driver who ran down officer ‘was re-enacting computer game’
By Ellen Connolly
May 14 2002
The driver of a stolen car who killed a highway patrol officer during a police chase was re-enacting one of his PlayStation computer games, The Need for Speed – Hot Pursuit, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.
Trevor Edward Holton, 26, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Senior Constable Jim Affleck, 43, near Campbelltown on January 14 last year.
In his opening address yesterday, the Crown prosecutor, Mark Tedeschi, QC, said that during the pursuit Holton was ”testing his car rallying skills” and was ”engaged in a real life re-enactment of the computer game”.
”To him the lives of other road users and the lives of police officers were just there as props to provide the thrill of the chase, and they were expendable in the pursuit of that thrill. Jim Affleck’s death was just part of this real-life game.”
The court was told the chase began about 8.30am after another man, who was a passenger in the four-wheel-drive, committed a bag snatch at Moss Vale. Also in the car was the man’s four-year-old stepdaughter.
For the next 40 minutes police chased the stolen vehicle as it drove on the wrong side of the road along the M5 freeway and the old Hume Highway, reaching speeds of up to 180kmh.
At one stage the passenger got out of the car and tried to take the girl with him but Holton sped off with her.
Senior Constable Affleck tried to stop the vehicle by throwing road spikes across the M5 but Holton swerved across two lanes to miss the spikes and hit the officer, Mr Tedeschi said. His body landed 80 metres away.
The stolen vehicle somersaulted and landed on its roof, with the girl, uninjured, still in the back. Holton fled but was arrested that night.
In a police interview Holton had said he ”was not prepared, at any stage, to get pulled over or stop”. He had seen Senior Constable Affleck running across the road in front of him trying to get the spikes under the vehicle.
”I couldn’t swerve; I couldn’t dodge him. I was going too fast. It’s like he [Affleck] didn’t care what happened.
”To me it was like it was suicide. He could see how fast I was going. He could see I could not stop.
”I have just been so angry … he could have avoided me so easy.”
He had said he knew about road spikes from playing the computer game, in which the main method of avoiding spikes is to veer off the road onto a median strip or the grass.
The trial continues.
Fury at killer’s ‘lenient’ jail term
By Ellen Connolly
August 24 2002
The state Opposition has called for compulsory life terms to be imposed on anyone who kills a police officer, after the “lenient” sentencing of a man who ran down a highway patrol officer.
Trevor Edward Holton, 27, was jailed yesterday for a minimum 12 years for the murder of Senior Constable Jim Affleck, killed while laying road spikes during a high-speed pursuit in western Sydney on January 14 last year.
In handing down sentence in the Supreme Court, Acting Justice Thomas Davidson said the jail term had to deter others and demonstrate that such acts against police in the execution of their duty would not be supported by the courts.
But the shadow attorney-general, Chris Hartcher, said this was not reflected in the sentence and called on the judicial system to stand behind police officers.
“Mr Holton should go to jail for the rest of his natural life. He certainly would if the coalition was in office,” Mr Hartcher said.
The Attorney-General, Bob Debus, said he had sought advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions on prospects for an appeal. “Understandably, there is considerable community concern about the sentence imposed,” Mr Debus said.
The court heard Holton was re-enacting one of his PlayStation computer games and was testing his car rally skills during the 40-minute pursuit.
Constable Affleck’s distraught family said it was “extremely disappointed” at the sentence and wanted harsher terms imposed on anyone convicted of murdering a police officer.
“If someone is prepared to kill a police officer they’re prepared to kill anybody, and I think they should have a sentence which is much stronger for police,” the victim’s brother, Paul Affleck, said outside court. “They’re out there doing their job, protecting us, and it should be reflected in the sentencing. Mr Carr’s talking about minimum sentences all the time.”
Inspector Hans Rupp, who led the investigation, said: “Trish has lost a good husband, his work colleagues have lost a great mate and, unfortunately for NSW, we’ve lost a great policeman. You just can’t replace police of the calibre of Jim Affleck.”
Holton was sentenced to a maximum 16 years.
Outrage at police killer’s mercy bid
By Sean Berry
The family of murdered policeman Jim Affleck has described his killer’s attempt to appeal against a 12-year jail sentence as “an outrage”.
A year after Trevor Edward Holton was sentenced to serve a minimum of 12 years (maximum of 16) in jail for the highway patrol officer’s murder, he has initiated an appeal against the severity of the sentence in the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Holton, of Claymore, south-west Sydney, was sentenced in August after he ran down and killed Affleck in January 2001.
He hit Affleck with a stolen four-wheel-drive when he swerved to avoid road spikes the policeman was laying across the M5 Freeway at Campbelltown.
Delivering the sentence in the Supreme Court, Acting Judge Thomas Davidson said the jail term needed to act as a deterrent and demonstrate that such acts against police in the execution of their duty would not be tolerated.
However, the Department of Public Prosecutions has since lodged an appeal against the leniency of the sentence, with a hearing due next month.
The Crown’s stance is in contrast to Holton’s planned appeal against the harshness of the same sentence.
“If he does [appeal], it may well be that the Crown appeal in December will be vacated,” a court spokesman said. “The court likes to deal with these things as one.”
Any appeal against the severity flies in the face of the outrage that greeted the sentencing last year.
“We thought he deserved more,” the victim’s brother, Paul Affleck, said. “Before the sentencing we sat down with [then police minister] Michael Costa. He gave us an idea of what they were looking at for minimum sentences and more stringent sentencing.
“It has now been 12 months since the sentencing and nothing has been done. How many more policemen have to die before someone does something?”
NSW shadow attorney-general Andrew Tink said he had a simple approach to the matter.
“Anyone who kills a police officer while they are carrying out their duties should go to jail for life,” he said. “That is our strong stance.”
Mr Affleck said Holton’s bid to reduce his sentence was not a surprise, just unfortunate.
“We have been expecting that all along, just the way the defence was talking after the trial,” he said.
“Anyone who kills a policeman should spend his life in jail – he had a criminal record going back until he was 13 or something.
“I think it’s ridiculous and I don’t know why we tolerate these things. I just think it’s ridiculous he has the opportunity to [appeal].
“I think anyone who kills anyone doesn’t deserve any freedom.”
Police killer spared more time in jail
July 1, 2004
A policeman who died after being run over by a fleeing car thief should have shot his killer “between the eyes”, his widow says.
The widow of Senior Constable Jim Affleck was speaking yesterday after a court rejected the Crown’s appeal against the leniency of the sentence given to the man who ran him down.
Trish Affleck compared the situation her husband was in when he was killed by Trevor Edward Holton to that faced by another policeman, Inspector Shane Cribb, who has been charged over the shooting of a criminal who drove a getaway car at him three years ago.
“You have got Inspector Cribb looking down the barrel of a jail term for doing what I wish to God Jim had done. I wish to God he would have shot Holton between the eyes,” Mrs Affleck said with tears in her eyes.
The NSW Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision, yesterday rejected the Crown’s argument for a tougher sentence for Holton, who was jailed in August 2002 for a minimum of 12 years, and a maximum 16, for the murder of Senior Constable Affleck.
On January 14, 2001, the stolen four-wheel-drive Holton was driving hit Senior Constable Affleck, a highway patrolman, as he laid out road spikes on M5 to stop the vehicle. Holton was being pursued by police after committing a robbery.
Holton also appealed against his conviction, but that was unanimously dismissed by justices Michael Grove, Robert Hulme and Rex Smart yesterday.
Published on Sep 14, 2012
Wall To Wall Ride 2012 – M5 Motorway South of Sydney. Slowing down in tribute to Jim Affleck, crossing the bridge named in his honour. Polair was hovering above filming, but because I didn’t check my vertical camera angle, I missed it!
ix. JAMES AFFLECK
In January 2001 Senior Constable Jim Affleck was a Highway Patrol Officer who was run over a killed whilst deploying a set of ‘road spikes’ during a high speed police pursuit. The offending driver actually drove his vehicle at Affleck in a deliberate attempt to run him down. He was subsequently charged with murder.
November 6, 2004
Alone in his patrol car, Chris Thornton had the police siren flashing as he chased a white sedan through Woy Woy.
Thornton, 35, a highway patrolman, had been in the force for 15 years. He was, his mother says, “the best driver I have ever seen”.
The reason for the chase that night in April 2002 is unknown. Both cars were seen travelling at high speed. Thornton was about 50 metres behind.
Meanwhile, Leonard Rowley, 56, an unlicensed driver, was driving to his local KFC to pick up dinner. He saw the first car flash past and judged – wrongly – that he had time to turn out in front of the patrol car. Thornton tried to avoid Rowley’s car but clipped the back, veered onto the wrong side of the road and hit a power pole.
Thornton died on the spot, which is marked by a permanent stainless-steel cross. Rowley later received a suspended two-year sentence.
“His life from the age of 12 was about helping people,” says Thornton’s mother, Freada Thornton. “He was in the surf club and he was there to rescue people and then he went into the force and he was doing the same thing.” His father, Barry Thornton, says: “He loved life. He had been in Gosford for 15 years and was so popular with the community there.”
Police pursuits are, says Barry, a necessary evil: “If they don’t catch the criminals there will be more deaths on the roads. The ones that they’re in pursuit of are the idiots that have done the wrong thing to start with.”
But pursuits have come at a cost to the NSW Police Department. Fifteen officers have died as a result of high-speed chases, beginning with the death of Constable George Boore in 1937.
Details provided by the NSW Police Association show a steady stream of fatalities involving cars and motorcycles. The full list of casualties is as follows:
April 2, 1937: Constable George Boore;
June 2, 1954: Constable Cecil Sewell;
November 14, 1958: Constable Brian Boaden;
December 23, 1958: Constable William Lord;
October 14, 1961: Constable James Kinnane;
September 7, 1963: Constable Colin Robb;
December 2, 1976: Constable Terry Moncur;
January 3, 1985: Constable Wayne Rixon;
July 25, 1985: Detective-Constable Steven Tier;
October 20, 1987: Constable Themelis Macarounas;
August 24, 1988: Constable Peter Carter;
June 13, 1989: Constable Peter Figtree;
June 14, 1989: Senior Constable Glenn Rampling;
January 14, 2001: Senior Constable James Affleck;
April 13, 2002: Senior Constable Christopher Thornton.