Keith Alfred HAYDON
Late of West Wallsend
New South Wales Police Force
Regd. # 10930
Rank: Probationary Constable – appointed 24 February 1964
Constable – appointed 24 February 1965
Constable 1st Class – appointed 24 February 1969
Senior Constable – appointed 24 February 1973
Sergeant 3rd Class – appointed ???
Sergeant – Death
Stations: Western District, Nyngan Lock Up Keeper, West Wallsend ( from February 1980 ) – Death
Service: From ? ? pre Feb. 1964 to 24 November 1980 = 24+ years Service
Awards: National Medal – granted 20 January 1981 ( Posthumously )
Born: Thursday 23 December 1943 at Wallsend
Died on: Monday 24 November 1980
Age: 36 yrs 11 mths 1 day
Cause: Shot 3 times – Murdered
Event location: Sugarloaf Range Rd, Mt Vincent, NSW. GPS ( Approx. ) -32.918444, 151.516389
Event date: Monday 24 November 1980
Funeral date: ? ? ?
Funeral location: ?
Funeral Parlour: ?
Buried at: ?
Memorial located at: The Memorial was apparently located at the site of the incident ( as per above GPS details ) but was constantly being vandalised.
It was then removed from the incident site and moved to the grounds of West Wallsend Police Station in the mid 1980’s.
The West Wallsend Police Station was decommissioned in the 2006 ( now a private residence ) and the Memorial was relocated to Waratah Police Station – Newcastle City LAC.
KEITH IS mentioned on the Police Wall of Remembrance
Funeral location: TBA
FURTHER INFORMATION IS NEEDED ABOUT THIS PERSON, THEIR LIFE, THEIR CAREER AND THEIR DEATH.
PLEASE SEND PHOTOS AND INFORMATION TO Cal
May they forever Rest In Peace
About 12.20pm on 24 November, 1980 Sergeant Haydon drove to Mount Sugarloaf, near West Wallsend, following a report of shots being fired on the mountain. The sergeant did not know at the time that the person firing the shots was wanted for a double murder whilst robbing a gun store at Bondi two years earlier.
When Sergeant Haydon located and confronted the offender he was shot to death.
Police were quickly informed of the situation by Forestry Department worker Cliff Hogbin, who had made a note of the offender’s vehicle registration number shortly before finding the sergeant’s body. Mr Hogbin displayed outstanding courage in remaining with Sergeant Haydon and the police vehicle at the crime scene and directing police to the location.
A description of a suspect vehicle seen in the area by Mr Hogbin was then broadcast by Police Radio VKG and a short time later that vehicle was spotted by Constable Alexander Pietruszka ( Regd # 17592 ) of Beresfield Police.
Due to confusing and continual radio transmissions ( relating to the sergeant’s murder), and despite many attempts to do so, Constable Pietruszka was unable to ascertain the reason for the alert on the suspect vehicle. Having little choice in the matter he stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver. Constable Pietruszka was then also shot in the stomach and seriously wounded. He later recovered. ( On the 27 June 1986 he was promoted to Senior Constable ).
At this time more police arrived, and the offender was disarmed and arrested by Senior Constable Ken Goodfellow ( Regd # 14949 ).
The Canberra Times of 25 November, 1980 reported the following account.
“MAN KILLS POLICE SERGEANT”
SYDNEY: A gunman shot dead a police sergeant yesterday near the Mount Sugarloaf Lookout Road, near Newcastle, and shortly after shot and seriously injured a constable at a roadblock near Newcastle.
Sergeant Keith Haydon, 37, of West Wallsend, died when he was shot once in the head and twice in the back. He leaves a wife, two daughters and a son. Constable Alexander Pietruszka, 30, was shot in the stomach after he pulled over a car at an intersection near Beresfield a short time later. He was in a satisfactory condition in the Mater Misericordiae Hospital at Waratah last night.
Sydney homicide detectives went to Maitland, near Newcastle, last night to question a man, 31, about another murder in Sydney recently.
The shootings started when Sergeant Haydon, the officer in charge of West Wallsend Police Station, was called to the mountain to investigate a minor complaint about a man shooting at targets in the bush.
After the shootings the man was taken to Maitland police station for questioning.
Police found five pistols, four .38 calibre and one .22 calibre in the car driven by the man.
The deputy chief of the Sydney CIB, Superintendent Geoff Hammond ( possibly Regd # 4990 ), said, “A good policeman is dead and another injured when they shouldn’t be. It was only a small matter, an ordinary inquiry”. A fund to aid the sergeant’s widow and children has been established by the town’s RSL and workers’ clubs.”
The Canberra Times of 14 April, 1981 also reported on the conclusion of the trial of the offender, Berwyn Rees.
“FIREARMS OBSESSION – MAN SENTENCED FOR 1977, 1980 KILLINGS
SYDNEY: A man was sent to a jail for life in the Central Criminal Court in Sydney yesterday for murders in 1977 and last year.
Mr Berwyn Rees, 31, unemployed, of Ponderosa Caravan Park, Raymond Terrace, near Newcastle, pleaded guilty.
Two men were shot dead in a Bondi Junction gun shop on August 4, 1977, and a policeman was shot dead at Mount Sugarloaf, near Newcastle, on November 24, 1980. Mr Rees also pleaded guilty to having maliciously wounded a policeman at Beresfield on November 24, 1980, with intent to avoid apprehension.
“Police said Mr Rees had used a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver he had stolen from the gun shop to murder Sergeant Keith Alfred Haydon. The men killed in 1977 were Mr Raymond James, 26, the gun shop proprietor, and Mr Christopher Greenfield, 26, a customer.
Mr Justice Begg said the evidence revealed “wanton and merciless killings“.
The law in NSW permitted only one sentence to be passed on murder charges and Mr Rees was sentenced to life imprisonment on each and 10 years‘ jail for the malicious wounding of Constable Alexander Pietruszka.
Mr Justice Begg told Mr Rees that it appeared that he had “an obsession with firearms since you were a small child”, and that “you have lived a somewhat lonely and solitary life”. The case pointed to the free use of firearms and the question of whether their availability should be restricted.
“Detective Sergeant J. F. Elsworthy ( Regd # 9114 ) told the court that on the morning of November 24 Mr Rees had gone to a remote place near Mount Sugarloaf with five handguns, a quantity of ammunition and the Smith and Wesson. Over three years he had visited the spot about once a month to try out guns shooting at cans.
Sergeant Haydon had blocked a car driven by Mr Rees and Mr Rees had admitted he had been shooting in the area. Mr Rees had shot Sergeant Haydon three times in the body. He had gone to move the police vehicle but Sergeant Haydon had taken the keys from the ignition, and he had returned to Sergeant Haydon and seen that he was moving. He had then shot him in the back of the head.
The same day Mr Rees had been apprehended by Constable Pietruszka and other police at Beresfield. Constable Pietruszka had approached Mr Rees’s car and shortly afterward had been shot in the stomach.
“Detective Sergeant J. McGregor said that after the gun shop robbery and murders Mr Rees had taken away a quantity of guns and ammunition. He had taken the weapons and ammunition home and a week later taken them to his secluded spot, near where he was arrested on November 24, and for the next three years practised firing weapons.
“Giving evidence in a claim for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, Constable Pietruszka said his wounding had contributed to the break-up of his marriage. Some weeks after the incident his wife had told him she wanted him to leave the police force, and when he had disagreed she had left him.
Mrs C. A. Haydon, the widow of Sergeant Haydon, also applied for compensation for herself and three children. Mr Justice Begg adjourned both applications.”
Sergeant Haydon was born in 1943 and joined the New South Wales Police Force on 24 February, 1964.
At the time of his death he was stationed at West Wallsend.
Kevin Banister Extract from an environmental report dated 2012.
“The only location carrying a distinctive historical cultural significance was located just outside the study area close to Mount Sugarloaf at an area locally known as Summit Point.
Summit Point Access Trail runs off Sugarloaf Range Road.
Newcastle City Command welcomed Peter Haydon who intends to participate in the police remembrance ride, proudly supporting NSW Police Legacy. Peter is the son of Sergeant Keith Haydon who was stationed at West Wallsend Police Station and tragically murdered at Mount Sugar Loaf, whilst on duty on 24 November 1980. Peter was only 14 years at the time of his father’s passing.
On behalf of Superintendent John Gralton, Senior Sergeant Craig Thompson, who is also a legatee, proudly presented Peter with a cash donation made by Newcastle City staff. Senior Sergeant Thompson is the son of Senior Constable Allan Thompson who was Stationed at Cessnock Police Station when tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident, 40 years ago on the 3rd May 1977. Those donations include a full cash tin which Crime Prevention Officer, Senior Constable Mark Bird had been personally contributing to over the past years – which now finds its way to the intended cause.
Participates have so far raised $90,739 which will be donated directly to NSW Police Legacy which will be used to support the direct family of member of the NSW Police Force killed in the line of duty.
Newcastle City Command wish Peter all the best, who will be challenged by blistery westerly winds and a gruelling 300km ride from the Wall of Remembrance in Sydney’s Domain to the National Police Wall of Remembrance in Canberra – all in the effort to raise money for NSW Police Legacy.
Please search facebook – Remembrance Bike Ride supporting NSW Police Legacy – if you would like to support those participating in the ride from 28 – 30 April 2017.
I hope this okay to pop this fundraising page on here? Just delete if not.
But today I would like to ask for your support in raising funds for the families of deceased NSW Police Officers.
My dad, Sgt Keith Alfred Haydon was killed in the line of duty 24th November 1980 at Mt Sugerloaf while responding to reports of a firearm being discharged in the vicinity. Little did he know that the offender had only 2 years earlier murdered 2 people while robbing a gun store in Sydney Eastern Suburbs.
Dad was only 36 years old. He had recently been promoted to the rank of Sergeant and taken a transfer to West Wallsend in the February of 1980. He moved with his wife of 16 years, 2 daughters and a son. He moved to Westy to be close to home. Dad was born in Wallsend in 1943. His mum and sister lived at Swansea at the time of our move. This was supposed to be a much easier and rewarding chapter in my dad’s life after travelling around rural NSW for 16 years at various stations.
I am riding 300km in 3 days with a great bunch of Policemen and woman and policing community in order to raise funds for NSW Police Legacy. I am currently very unfit but have a month to train for the journey, your support will be so encouraging.
If you can help please donate on the link attached. All donations are tax deductible and will towards helping a very worthy cause.
National Police Remembrance Day ceremony in Lake Macquarie
- September 29 2017 – 4:27PM
POLICE from Lake Macquarie Local Area Command have unveiled plans for a memorial wall at Belmont to honour the seven local officers killed in the line of duty since 1863.
Plaques commemorating the seven officers were dedicated to the wall in a ceremony at Belmont police station this afternoon, National Police Remembrance Day.
Chief Inspector Murray Lundberg of Lake Macquarie LAC presided over a private ceremony attended by police, local high school students, and the families of the fallen officers.
“This is a time for reflection on the ultimate sacrifice that police officers can give in the execution of their duty,” Chief Inspector Lundberg said.
The fallen officers honoured were Constable Henry Rucker (who died in 1863), Constable Frederick Martin (1953), Sergeant 2nd Class William McKie (1965), Senior Constable Douglas Eaton (1977), Sergeant 3rd Class Keith Haydon (1980), Sergeant 1st Class Rhoderic Lindsay (1984), and Sergeant 3rd Class Ross Jennings (1986).
Acting Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, the Northern Region Commander, said the wall of remembrance, to be created on the distinctive blue wall at the entrance to the police station, would be striking.
“It will be a sight to treasure,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree said.
“I want the officers, as they are walking out the front doors of this police station, to stop and reflect on the names, stop and reflect on the sacrifice.”
He said he hoped that the inaugural plaques to be installed on the wall were also the last.
“My dream is that we never, ever, add another name to this wall. I hope and pray that our wall is now complete.”
Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree reached out to the families of the fallen officers.
“No commemoration or recognition can make good the loss that is unfairly carried by family members,” he said.
“I can only offer you my heartfelt condolences. Please know that your loved ones, who are no longer with us, will always be remembered.”
Across NSW, ceremonies were held to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the 269 officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and through injury or illness, since the formation of the NSW Police Force in 1862.
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