Colin Winchester

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Colin Stanley Winchester
Born (1933-10-18)18 October 1933
Died 10 January 1989(1989-01-10) (aged 55)

Colin Stanley Winchester APM, (18 October 1933 – 10 January 1989) was an assistant commissioner in the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Winchester commanded ACT Police, the community policing component of the AFP Australian Federal Police responsible for the Australian Capital Territory.


On 10 January 1989, at about 9:15 pm, he was shot twice in the head with a Ruger 10/22 .22-calibre semi-automatic rifle fitted with a silencer and killed as he parked his police vehicle in the driveway of his house in Deakin, ACT. David Harold Eastman was convicted of Winchester's murder on 11 November 1995 after a four-year surveillance investigation. Winchester is Australia's most senior police officer to have been murdered.[1] The story was dramatised in Police Crop: The Winchester Conspiracy.

Following his murder the Winchester Police Centre, Benjamin Way, Belconnen, was established as the ACT Policing Headquarters. The Complex houses ACT Policing's Executive, administrative and support sections and elements of the Territory Investigations Group (TIG).

Murder conviction of David Eastman[edit]

In 1995 David Harold Eastman was tried and convicted of the murder of Winchester and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Eastman, born in 1945, is a former public servant from Canberra, Australia.[2] During the 85-day trial, Eastman repeatedly sacked his legal team and eventually chose to represent himself. Eastman also abused the judge during his trial, and during later legal proceedings and appeals.[3] Subsequent to his conviction, Eastman continuously appealed his conviction, attempting to win a retrial on the basis that he was mentally unfit during his original trial.[4] On 27 May 2009, Eastman was transferred from a New South Wales prison to the ACT's Alexander Maconochie Centre to see out his sentence.[5]

A new inquiry relating to his conviction was announced in August 2012.[6] In 2014, the inquiry, headed by Justice Brian Ross Martin, found there had been "a substantial miscarriage of justice", Eastman "did not receive a fair trial", the forensic evidence on which the conviction was based was "deeply flawed" and recommended the conviction be quashed. However Martin said he was "fairly certain" Eastman was guilty but "a nagging doubt remains".[7][8][9]


The headquarters of ACT Policing are named in honour of Winchester.[10]


  1. ^ Jarrett, Janice (4 November 1995). "Murder of Assistant Commissioner Winchester". The Canberra Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-21. 
  2. ^ Solly, Ross (28 May 2003). "David Eastman wins right to appeal". ABC PM. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  3. ^ AAP (28 May 2003). "David Eastman appeal upheld". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  4. ^ Campbell, Roderick (10 October 2004). "Winchester murder trial, fair or not?". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 6 May 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ Kent, Paul (31 May 2014). "Killer of police commissioner finally extradited to the ACT". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Mosley, Lisa (10 August 2012). "Inquiry ordered into 1989 Winchester murder". Lateline. Retrieved 17 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Eastman inquiry recommends David Eastman's conviction be quashed, finds miscarriage of justice". 30 May 2014. Retrieved 30 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Australian Associated Press (30 May 2014). "David Eastman's murder conviction should be quashed: inquiry". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Inquiry into the Conviction of David Harold Eastman for the Murder of Colin Stanley Winchester" (PDF). REPORT OF THE BOARD OF INQUIRY. Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Gwen Winchester, widow of slain AFP chief Colin Winchester, dies". ABC News. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016. 

External links[edit]