Police quiet on Dunedin murder probe

03:00, Jan 21 2014
A police cordon set up on Kiwi St, Saint Leonards.
A police cordon set up on Kiwi St, Saint Leonards.
A police cordon set up on Kiwi St, Saint Leonards.
A police cordon set up on Kiwi St, Saint Leonards.
Shootings in St Leonards
The house where a man killed his two children before turning the gun on himself in St Leonard's, Dunedin. Police carry what looks like a firearm inside the house.
Shootings in St Leonards
Investigators inside the house in St Leonards, Dunedin.
Shootings in St Leonards
Flowers laid at the letterbox of a house where a man killed his two children in St Leonards, Dunedin.
Shootings in St Leonards
An investigator at the house in St Leonards, Dunedin.
murder1
A young boy lays flowers by the house in Dunedin where two children and a man were killed in apparent murder-suicide.
Bradley and Ellen Livingstone
Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, ages 9 and 6, were slain in Dunedin last night.
livingstone
Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, ages 9 and 6, were apparently killed by their own father.
Flowers for shooting victims
School classmates and their family lay flowers by the house in Dunedin where two children and a man were killed in apparent murder-suicide.
17-CHP-Flowers1
Scene where Edward Livingstone killed his two children before turning the gun on himself. 9 Kiwi St, St Leonard's, Dunedin.
17-CHP-Flowers8
Tributes outside the house where Edward Livingstone killed his two children before turning the gun on himself. 9 Kiwi St, St Leonard's, Dunedin.
17-CHP-Flowers9
Flowers at the Scene where Edward Livingstone killed his two children before turning the gun on himself. 9 Kiwi St, St Leonard's, Dunedin.
17-CHP-Flowers15
Friends lay flowers at the scene where Edward Livingstone killed his two children before turning the gun on himself. 9 Kiwi St, St Leonard's, Dunedin.

Police are growing frustrated at media speculation around last week's triple homicide in Dunedin, but remain taciturn about the investigation.

Police are under scrutiny after claims that the protection order against Edward Livingstone, who on Wednesday last week shot dead his children, Bradley, 9, and Ellen, 6, was not properly enforced.

University of Otago law faculty head Mark Henaghan has questioned why Dunedin courts seemed unaware Livingstone had threatened to kill. The threat had been reported to police.

Livingstone twice breached a protection order. The courts documented his breaches as minor and he escaped jail time.

Mel Foot, a neighbour of Livingstone's estranged wife, Katharine Webb, said she laid a complaint with police in August when Livingstone made the threats. Her complaint was never followed up.

Dunedin-Clutha-Waitaki district commander Inspector Greg Sparrow said police met Foot on Friday to discuss her concerns, but he declined to elaborate.

Advertisement

"There are many explanations and much speculation in the media about the facts in this tragic case," Sparrow said.

"Police's role is to thoroughly investigate the facts and circumstances and this means we aren't able to comment on what the full facts might be while this tragedy is being investigated.

"The full facts of this case will be put before the coroner's court in due course," he said today.

Police confirmed that Livingstone did not have a firearms licence, but had accessed a shotgun. Although they knew how he got hold of it, they would not say.

Tim Black, a member of the national executive of the family law section of the New Zealand Law Society, said the court's decisions not to convict Livingstone were in line with his offences.

"A piece of paper can never stop someone with a gun."

Justice Minister Judith Collins has said it is not always possible to predict a person's behaviour. The blame for this senseless murder should rest with the offender.

Until more details are released by police, it is unclear if this tragedy could have been prevented.

Fairfax Media