Killer had conviction for arson
A Dunedin man who shot dead his two children had an arson conviction in Australia after trying to burn down a former girlfriend's house, TVNZ has reported.
In January, Edward Livingstone killed his two children, 9-year-old Bradley and 6-year-old Ellen, at their home in the Dunedin suburb of St Leonards. His body was also found in the house.
Thirty years ago, Livingstone tried to burn down a former girlfriend's house in Sydney, TVNZ reported last night.
That offence was prompted by his then girlfriend announcing she was leaving him, according to the report.
Livingstone separated from his estranged Dunedin wife in May 2013.
Before murdering his children, he had twice breached a protection order.
Commenting on the historic arson offending, Justice Minister Judith Collins said it appeared to "show an attitude about getting your own way that would be very concerning".
The original offence was 30 years old and may or may not have made a difference, she said.
"My understanding is the information concerning his convictions would have been covered by the clean slate legislation [in New Zealand]," Collins told TVNZ.
Livingstone worked for the Corrections Department in Dunedin. He began working at Otago Prison in November 2007 as an administration support officer.
The job involved logging details of prisoners.