Thinking of . . .

The mother and everyone who tried to help or has been affected.

A bank account has been opened for Katharine Webb. The ANZ bank account (06-0909-0401308-00) is under the name ‘St Leonards School Board of Trustees’.

Or visit the school’s website at


Filed under Events, People

67 responses to “Thinking of . . .

  1. Women’s Refuge New Zealand

    Women’s Refuge helps a woman every six minutes on their crisis lines.

    Crisisline: 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843

    If you, a child or other family member is in immediate danger call 111 now.

    Find your local refuge:

    Other contacts for Women’s Refuge New Zealand:

    Dunedin Women’s Refuge Te Whare Pounamu
    PO Box 2267, South Dunedin, DUNEDIN 9044
    Crisis (03) 477 1229
    Office (03) 466 3220
    Fax (03) 455 0059
    Community Workers (03) 466 3220

    How to support the work of Women’s Refuge:
    Raising funds and awareness | Make a donation | Be a sponsor | Volunteer

  2. Ceri Warnock, chairwoman of St Leonards School’s board of trustees, said half of its 72 students had come in today to pay their respects. Close friends of both victims attended, she said. “Some were very emotive and expressive in their grief, others were very resilient. Most just wanted to see their teachers and hug them.” The school had contacted every family after receiving the news. (ODT)

  3. Russell Garbutt

    Nothing anyone can say or write can mitigate this tragedy. The appalling loss of innocent lives is a crime beyond comprehension and all must weep and grieve for them and their mother. The actions of the father are both vicious and cowardly – no matter what demons he may have had. In the fullness of time all of the actions of those that knew of this man and his actions and intentions need to be examined, as it does seem that all of the warning signs were present. Rest peacefully little children.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Isn’t it horrendous! The mother is quite likely feeling as guilty as if she’d abandoned her children, but how could she guess that taking herself (the “enemy”) away from the scene to where she could contact help wasn’t the best thing to do? Who wouldn’t think she’d done the wisest thing in an attempt not to inflame the situation any further? Alas her choice didn’t work, but it’s not like anything else would have been better so I hope she doesn’t beat herself up, she’s got more than enough grief without that. I admire her for doing what could have been most likely to succeed, even though it didn’t. Not her fault.
      Looks like his determination to destroy was far stronger than anyone’s ability to alter his direction, anyway they didn’t have the advantage of knowing how extreme his destructive drive had become. Terrible, terrible, terrible.

      • le duc

        At present, ODT online is closed to comments on the St Leonards tragedy. Hype O’Thermia, Katharine Webb did everything possible within the law. The Law, ie Family Court, failed. No-one is too powerful, or mad, to be stopped. It is time for the Courts and Police to be proactive. And ‘counselling’ of offenders is not enough.

        • Yesterday one news item at ODT about the tragedy was open for comments – no-one appeared to notice.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Le duc, couldn’t agree more, I said she might FEEL guilty – there’s survivor guilt, there’s the fact that everything we do, we could have done something else and the “what ifs” come into a person’s mind. Even in peaceful natural deaths – “I wish I’d visited them more often, I wish I’d said I love you more often.” I didn’t mean Katharine Webb deserved to have those feelings, I wanted to acknowledge that they occur and they add pain no matter how undeserved.
          Ms Webb didn’t miss a beat, didn’t miss a step in the procedures she took took to keep the family safe. She even did the extra sensible thing, alerting the neighbours to the danger she and the children were in. Some people don’t add that further layer of protection, perhaps out of misguided privacy, keeping up a “good front”.
          The neighbours did their part to the best of their ability, good on them, they were great too. Others blew it, and those failures need to be examined so they don’t happen again because those others were the ones who could have made the difference between, literally, life and death.
          Protection orders aren’t issued because hubby has bad breath or is too lazy to put the bins out – he has to already act in a way that demonstrates he is a real threat, in other words he does not respect the laws about domestic violence. So when he shows he does not respect the protection order this should be taken seriously, no matter how minor the breach, because it shows an ongoing determination to ignore authority and do what he damn-well wants. Whether he’s in counselling when he breaks the terms imposed on him should make no difference, if anything it shows counselling isn’t working – or may work eventually but clearly hasn’t yet so he is still a danger who will not respect the law any more than he respects his victims.

  4. Shine* Making homes violence free in New Zealand
    te kakano tumanake

    Kia ora and welcome to Shine – a national domestic abuse charity

    Confidential Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0508 744 633

    If you, a child or other family member is in immediate danger call 111 now.

  5. [via ODT]

    Where to get help

    Family violence agencies:

    Te Whare Pounamu Women’s Refuge: 0800 733 843

    Rape Crisis: (03) 474 1592

    Stopping Violence Dunedin: 0800 474 1121

    Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga Inc: (03) 477 4670

    Relationships Aotearoa: 0800 735 283

    Jigsaw Wakatipu: 0508 440 255

    Shine: 0508 744 633

    Depression Helpline: 0800 693 342

    Kidsline: 0800 543 754

    LifeLine New Zealand: 0800 543 354

    Union of Fathers: 0508 225 532

    In an emergency: Dial 111

  6. Russell Garbutt

    Bearing in mind today’s revelations about the number of complaints that were made, and who to, I believe that the family would be most wise to ensure that they formally request all job sheets and records immediately.

  7. Dunedin Police –

    “Livingstone told friends as early as last August of his plan to murder his children and then take his own life after becoming “consumed with revenge” after breaking up with his wife Katharine Webb, APNZ has been told. After he told friends a complaint was laid with police. But the complainant said she was never interviewed and police didn’t follow up.” (ODT)

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Just a domestic, was it?

    I thought we had moved beyond regarding women’s calls for protection from dangerous partners “just a domestic” – not worth a high place on the priority list. Looks like I was wrong,
    And forget about “domestic violence is a community issue, everyone should step up and do what they can to stop it.”
    Tell the police how bad it is for your friend or neighbour and wait… something might happen, when the revenue collection from drivers going 5km over the limit is up to the desired amount.
    Yeah I know, it’s about safety not revenue collection.

    On the other hand “domestics” don’t provide any revenue at all – and when the woman is only bashed a little bit, well, what’s the urgency? OK, so sometimes something extreme happens and that doesn’t look good. But it’s a judgement call, right?

  9. Hype O'Thermia

    Looks like too many people were aware of her concerns and how realistic they were, aware of how much she had done to protect herself and the children.
    Not only the police but the court decisions – a conviction would jeopardise his job. Well cry me a goddamn river, betting on his job ahead of her and the children’s safety? Shameful!

  10. According to ODT, Inspector Greg Sparrow said in an emailed statement:

    “Based on the information available to us at this time police [are] satisfied that all reports made to police regarding this family were responded to appropriately. Police will not be responding to unsubstantiated claims through the media. Out of respect to the family at this tragic time we will not be discussing specific details through the media.”

    No “red flags missed”, yeah right.
    Police inaction appears to build the cone of silence so typical of major institutional fuck-ups.

  11. The ringing words. “Not interviewed.” They plague how many police cases.

  12. Hype O'Thermia

    “Police opposed the discharge, but Judge Coyle said a conviction could cost Livingstone his job which would outweigh the gravity of the offending.”
    My neighbour works in forestry. He enjoys marijuana but won’t use it because they have random testing and if he’s caught with it in his system he’s out of work – even though marijuana persists, traceable by tests that are available if barely relevant, long after its effects have dwindled to less than those caused by a baby teething and keeping parents awake. How is it OK to disregard his and innumerable other employees’ need for employment, for a “risk” that is based on exceptionally sensitive tests, but not OK in the case of people whose behaviour presents a clearly identifiable danger? It’s not as if it was only the wife – some ex-partners are “exceptionally sensitive” to the point of paranoia and some are vindictive so it is right for the authorities to evaluate the realism of each case. But when unrelated people have reported their concerns, and police oppose moist bus-ticket treatment shouldn’t judges have the sense and humility to recognise that bending over backwards to be nice is not appropriate, no matter how highly they out-rank the police, the complainant and others who have close-up knowledge of the situation?

    • Judges, doctors be they psychiatrists, add to the disbelief of safety. Police are first responders – people bring their concerns to the first responders and can expect interview and follow-up. Maybe follow-up of sorts happened without the knowledge of complainants, but evidently in the wrong shade and intensity of blue for the victims.

      • ### Updated at 10:33 pm on 17 January 2014
        Justice system ‘not to blame’
        The Law Society says the fatal shooting of two children in Dunedin is an extreme case for which the justice system can’t be blamed. Their father, Edward Livingstone, was being treated for mental health problems, court records show.
        Read more + Audio

  13. “I’m not someone who blames the judges or those who try to stop this happening. The full blame must be with the offenders.”
    –Justice Minister Judith Collins

    ### ODT Online Sat, 18 Jan 2014
    Caution urged on review suggestions
    By Timothy Brown
    A review of the Domestic Violence Act might be “healthy”, but legislative change will be a kneejerk reaction to societal shame, an authority on family law says. University of Otago dean of law Prof Mark Henaghan made the comments in response to growing calls for changes to legal protection orders following the St Leonards shootings this week.
    Read more

  14. To repeat:
    “[Neighbour Mel] Foot says she informed police of Livingstone’s claims five months ago, and that she was never formally interviewed. She says police didn’t take the complaint seriously.” ODT Link

  15. Not sure if anyone specifically is to blame for this tragedy. When you have a mental state that is suicidal as well as murderous, which of us would know? This person was always going to do what he did regardless of any counselling or police shepherding. Hate is an awful weapon, just look at the human bombs in the world committing mayhem in the name of ‘Allah’.

    • Having worked for long enough amongst the criminally insane, those admitted by the courts for psychiatric assessment and others on rotation from Lake Alice, I’m tempted to say medication and counselling is never enough – and a lock-up is.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      He made no secret of it. Whether he was specifically murderous and suicidal, he definitely made it plain to several people that he intended harm to his ex. And he flouted the restrictions placed on him BY LAW, he wasn’t prepared to conduct himself without offending against her. See what Mark Henaghan says, he understands how it works:

      ‘Courts did not “fully understand” that minor breaches were a way abusive partners could be “continuing that control over” those who had taken out protection orders, he said.’ That’s University of Otago dean of law Prof Mark Henaghan.

  16. ### ODT Online Sat, 25 Jan 2014
    St Leonards farewells ‘beautiful children’
    By John Lewis
    A community overwhelmed with grief did well not to let it overflow. Recent wet weather cleared for the afternoon funeral, and about 500 people attended, many of them with their children who went to school with Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) Livingstone.
    Read more

  17. Elizabeth

    “I felt that the information I had would not be acceptable to the court,” she said [Prosecutor Sergeant Kate Saxton, NZ Police, Dunedin].

    A bland and impersonal statement that lacks belief.

    Mrs Anne Stevens [counsel for Ms Webb] asked Det Snr Sgt Kallum Croudis if police handling reflected a succession of failures. He conceded that was true.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2015
    Police concede 'succession of failures'
    By Tim Brown
    Dunedin police became aware of Edward Livingstone’s prior criminal offending when he was in custody in August 2013. Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis has conceded police failed by not following up on Livingstone’s admission that he had convictions in Australia.
    Read more


    Yesterday’s evidence:

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2015
    Mistakes possible: Police handling of case queried
    By Timothy Brown
    The police prosecutor in charge of Edward Livingstone’s second protection order breach has conceded mistakes might have been made in the way police handled the case. At the first day of the inquest into the deaths of Livingstone and his two children, Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) Livingstone, Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall heard police were trained not to grant diversion to offenders who had breached protection orders.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Apr 2015
    ‘I saw a rifle with Edward behind it’
    By Timothy Brown
    A harrowing statement from Katharine Webb to police has revealed the horrific minutes leading up to her children’s deaths.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      Comment received Tue, 21 Apr 2015 at 9:39 p.m.

      Yet again it does not look good for Dunedin Police as TV breaking news reports that the Dunedin man that killed his two kids, the Police ignored previous threats. What a lame bunch of civil servants the Dunedin culture encourages !!!

      • Hype O'Thermia

        What about the line that having been informed a person expressed intent to kill specific people, nothing could be done because the intended victims had not reported it? It was only hearsay.
        Compare with “person dobbed in for selling dope to complainant’s son” so police won’t act because son didn’t complain? Yeah, tui!
        Compare with “previously untroubled youth is now hanging around with Islamist young men, rumours are going around that he/they intend to travel to fight with IS” – can’t do anything because neither the young men nor IS has complained. It’s only hearsay.

        What the almighty fuck do the police think they get their uniforms and pay for? Catching motorists at 1km/hour over the limit to raise govt revenue? Have these limp lettuce leaves in uniforms no shame?

  18. russandbev

    How many instances have there been over the last ten years or so when Police have failed in their duty? How many instances where they have had to “concede” to a court that they could have done better? How many instances where, despite courts finding that those prosecuted were wrongfully prosecuted and often jailed for extended periods, did the Police ever pursue the real perpetrators? How many times have they simply said that in their view there was insufficient evidence or public interest to pursue major crimes? How many times have they simply ignored what was happening under their noses? Yes, they often have distressing or distasteful duties to perform but there is no excuse whatsoever for the apparently never-ending failures. In this current tragic case who knows what the outcome would have been if those that received the warnings had acted differently. Who knows what genuine lessons have been learned.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Enough of this “concede” crap too. Let’s see “admit, accepting that they have failed miserably and let down NZ by being feeble, lazy, gormless and/or corrupt”?

  19. Elizabeth

    Not an ounce of protection anywhere for Katharine Webb and her two young children.

    Gormless, utterly vile and repugnant incompetence, locally. Not just down to the Police.

    █ Thanks ODT and editor Murray Kirkness for taking special care today to put faces to the toerags’ names on page 1, with their inane statements.

    Further, I hope psychiatrist Chris Wisely is no longer practising – will check.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Chris Wisely is an extraordinarily good psychiatrist and it is my sincere hope that he will continue to practice here in Dunedin for many many years.

      Didn’t you notice that he was not informed of several extremely important warning signals, he was effectively kneecapped by those who didn’t think there was anything worth mentioning about the bullet casings? And the police didn’t think it was worth finding out pronto, then not worth mentioning, the OTT crimes in Australia, i.e. a history of extreme action taken when he was rejected.
      It’s not unusual for a person to become calm and appear happy when they have made a final decision to commit suicide. Livingstone had made the murder-suicide decision, and he was good at managing what he wanted to do, e.g. keeping flatmate’s key then entering his house and stealing shotgun. Another thing, he worked for Corrections. He knew the “correct” way to present, he had had plenty of opportunity to observe prisoners who did or didn’t present the “right” persona to corrections staff, counsellors, parole board and psychiatrists. These people can not only stop you doing what you want to do, they pose a real risk to your freedom.
      Livingstone presented the “right” persona of a person who had had issues following the breakup of his relationship but was now dealing with them in a realistic way, seeing the situation from his wife’s point of view as well as his own.
      Without background information there is only so much anyone can do to extract a true picture of a patient, from the patient. Livingstone took care to mention nothing that would raise alarm. He was a very determined man with something extremely important that he wanted to do. He could pull himself together for the length of an appointment, he was strongly motivated to do so.
      Serious warning signals about serious crime must not be ignored, they must be shared around all people who are involved with the potential victims.
      Blaming any individual who did their job conscientiously with only a small part of the most important information, is grossly unjust.

      • Elizabeth

        I’m fully independent of knowledge of the professional psychiatrist – how did he miss Livingstone’s mental capacity or lack of and or proclivities / propensities?
        Sorry, I used to work in secure mental facilities including for forensic and court assessment etc. Can’t always read things but you get a bloody good idea even as a lay person working in that environment.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          Elizabeth asks “how did he [Chris Wisely] miss Livingstone’s mental capacity or lack of and or proclivities / propensities?” As I said, the man was clearly able to keep up a good appearance when he had to. It’s not uncommon. And he had every reason to give an appearance of having moved on from his relationship break-up. He talked about his past, being abandoned by his parents, abused by carers. A good ploy, any hints of disturbance would look like they were related to revisiting bad memories of his childhood, while he deflected attention from his present attitude by the compassionate way he talked about his wife, portraying himself as now having good judgement and accepting his role in the breakup of their relationship instead of blaming her.
          Not even psychiatrists can see what is expertly hidden. For mind-readers, look under “entertainment”.

        • Elizabeth

          There’s other things to observe off the proverbial couch. Don’t start me on professional health silos.

  20. Alex Brown

    We hear so often how the Police haven’t the resources to investigate other serious matters because they are bogged down by child abuse and family violence which they say is the top priority and yet it now appears the Dunedin Police are failing at that.

    How many Senior Dunedin Police failed to act on the warning signs. How many traffic duty officers were cruising around Dunedin issuing tickets over this period that could have been utilised to make enquiries given family violence is such a priority.

    One News showed Detective Senior Sergeant Croudis drinking a lot of water during the hard questions. Between drinks he coughed up the words “we failed” knowing that he and his gold plated superannuation will survive!!

  21. Peter

    I appreciate the police often have a tough, stressful job, dealing with some pretty awful people and they do some good work in protecting the community, but too often in Dunedin/Otago there is a distinctly bad odour of very questionable behaviour from a core of cops at the higher level. This has gone on for years now. Overall, this has given the police a bad reputation in this neck of the woods. It takes a lot to win back trust when it is lost
    Superintendant Andrew Coster is relatively new to the job but he needs to root out the rot and give no excuses for such cops. I have lost confidence in the local police. I would have no confidence in them being able to adequately deal with a crime where I was a victim. I would not have confidence in them dealing with corruption involving high profile people.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Peter expresses his reservations re Dunedin police: “I would have no confidence in them being able to adequately deal with a crime where I was a victim. I would not have confidence in them dealing with corruption involving high profile people.”
      I wonder whether he’s entirely correct about “…being able to adequately deal with a crime…”. It’s possible the word “able” should be changed to “willing”.

  22. Elizabeth

    █ Police changes include:
    “creation of adult sexual assault squad in Dunedin”, “more objective approach to investigations” and “willingness to progress investigations involving reluctant victims. Staff also received regular training about adult sexual assault.” (via ODT)

    ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Apr 2015
    Deaths prompted changes to policing
    By Timothy Brown
    Changes have been made to Dunedin policing after the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone. […] Southern District commander Superintendent Andrew Coster said changes had been made after the deaths to the way Southern police handled cases of family violence and adult sexual assault.
    Read more


    ### ODT Online Thu, 23 Apr 2015
    Livingstone ‘had many facades’
    Edward Livingstone’s depression was “atypical” and his happiness tied to the hope of reconciling with his estranged wife, the coroner’s court has heard.
    Read more

  23. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Apr 2015
    ‘Something amiss’ with Livingstone
    By Timothy Brown
    When news broke that Edward Livingstone had killed his children, former Barnardos employee Rebecca Cadogan was not surprised. […] During one of his supervised visits he changed in an instant from an “emotional and sick” individual to a man who was “aggressive and dominant”.
    Read more


    The inquest has concluded and Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall reserved her findings.

    ### ODT Online Fri, 24 Apr 2015
    Inquest: Police ‘fell short’ in duty of care
    By Timothy Brown
    Police failed to protect Katherine Webb and her children, Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, an inquest heard today. “We fell short,” Andrew Coster, Otago’s top policeman, conceded during questioning on the final day of the inquest into the deaths of Bradley (9) and Ellen (6), and their father Edward Livingstone.
    Read more

  24. Elizabeth

    ODT: ‘We fell short,’ top policeman admits
    Southern district commander Superintendent Andrew Coster [gave] testimony yesterday during the last day of the inquest into the deaths of Edward, Bradley and Ellen Livingstone as Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall watches on. Both struggled to hold back tears during an emotional day. [photo caption]

    ODT: Listen to coroners, dean urges
    New Zealand owes it to the victims to learn from the short- comings revealed at this week’s inquest into the murders of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, a leading legal academic says. University of Otago law faculty dean Prof Mark Henaghan said he was sure Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall would make some “strong recommendations”, and it was important they were listened to.

    ODT: Livingstone inquest so far
    The inquest into the deaths of Edward, Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) Livingstone was held in Dunedin this week. It provided a chilling insight into Edward’s mind and exposed failings in the handling of his case by those charged with protecting the children and their mother, Katharine Webb. Timothy Brown looks at key testimony from those who gave evidence.

  25. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Apr 2015
    Police take action over ‘significant’ failings
    By Chris Morris
    Police have taken action against some of their own after failing to protect Katherine Webb and her children, but those involved have kept their jobs, Otago’s top policeman has confirmed. Southern District commander Superintendent Andrew Coster yesterday told the Otago Daily Times police failings highlighted during the inquest into the deaths of Bradley (9), Ellen (6) and their father Edward Livingstone had been dealt with internally. He would not say how many officers were involved, or what actions were taken, other than to confirm no officers had been dismissed.
    Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Police have taken action against some of their own after failing to protect Katherine Webb and her children, but those involved have kept their jobs.” That’s OK then, I’m so reassured I’m bursting into song any minute now: “I’m a little teapot”.
      Is there an army-type “keeping their jobs” process similar to being busted down to cleaning latrines? Or does the police kaupapa mandate a 5 minute slapping with moist speeding tickets?

  26. Elizabeth

    Police mum on action over Livingstone case
    “We are not prepared to comment further on how we’ve addressed aspects of the police handling of the matter without also providing broader commentary on the circumstances of the case, which we cannot do until the coroner has released her findings.”
    –Southern district commander Superintendent Andrew Coster

  27. russandbev

    Last Tuesday I sent a letter for publication to the ODT regarding this matter which has not been published as of today – the letter was very carefully worded not to conflict with any legal position round the Coroner’s Court, but was confined to reaction to the published accounts of evidence given at the Court. But the above postings are related – it is to be noted that the views of the Dean of the Otago Law School were published by the ODT, so we will see what happens….

  28. Elizabeth

    ODT 8.5.15 (page 12)

    ODT 8.5.15 Letter to editor Garbutt p12

  29. Elizabeth

    ### June 22, 2015 – 6:01pm
    Livingstone murder case prompts nationwide policing changes
    Failures by local police in respect of the Livingstone murder case are prompting nationwide change. The Chief Coroner recommends a raft of changes to the way family violence cases are handled by police. And in Dunedin, the top cop says officers have already learned from their mistakes. 

    • Peter

      Good to see there is some attempt by the authorities in this tragic case to deal with shortcomings and not totally coverup those shortcomings.
      Meanwhile back at the DCC we see the opposite. We see a council immobilised by the pressures put on it to act coherently.

  30. Elizabeth

    Police threw out bullet casings clue
    Bullet casings which should have provided an insight into Edward Livingstone’s mindset and his access to firearms were discarded by the police officers who were handed them by his estranged wife, it has been revealed.


    Support for greater transparency between agencies
    A leading family violence expert is welcoming a move to encourage more transparency between agencies dealing with domestic abuse cases.


    Livingstone manipulated flatmate to get firearm
    Edward Livingstone was a bad man, not a mad man.

  31. russandbev

    Well now we have two Coroner’s reports issued in the last day or so and what do we find? As could have been expected the Police in the Otago area failed in really the most basic of tasks. It was illuminating to listen to Anne Stevens on National Radio this morning and her careful and professional statements. Despite the local Police immediately saying at the time of the murder of the two Livingstone children that it was wrong to speculate whether anything could have prevented the deaths, it is blindingly obvious that a number of “red flags” were ignored or not professionally followed up.

    The comments from the Milton prison death Coroner are even more pointed with some very disturbing revelations about timeliness amongst other things.

    The question that must be asked is just what accountability has occurred – not time to hide behind employment privacy any more. It’s also past time to keep on saying things have changed – clearly they haven’t.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      An ex-inmate of the Milton Hilton explained to me, with words and sketches, the sight lines (human and camera) and the routines for monitoring, and where staff were at various points relative to sight lines and cameras during their shifts.
      It couldn’t be clearer that that prisoner’s death is damn close to murder by institutional abuse, non-accidental.

  32. Elizabeth

    In the public interest (Dunedin public, in particular, given the dreadful continuing history of local police fuckups, that are legend), the following news item by RNZ is reproduced in full. Listen to the audio.

    ### Updated at 12:05 pm today
    Radio NZ National
    Nine to Noon with Kathryn Ryan
    Mother of dead children can’t accept findings
    The mother of two children murdered by their father refuses to accept the chief coroner’s view they may have died even if agencies involved had followed best practice.

    Coroner Deborah Marshall yesterday released her findings into the deaths of nine-year-old Bradley Livingstone and his six-year-old sister, Ellen Livingstone.
    The children were shot dead in their beds by their father, Edward Livingstone, in the Dunedin suburb of St Leonards in January last year. He was found dead with his shotgun next to him.
    Judge Marshall confirmed the circumstances of the deaths but found it was still not clear what triggered his actions, and concluded better practice by the agencies involved might not have altered the tragic outcome.
    But Anne Stevens, lawyer for their mother Katharine Webb, said she and Ms Webb could not accept that.

    Listen to Ann Stevens on Nine to Noon ( 24 min 41 sec )

    “That’s probably the most important finding to Katharine and myself, and the most distressing finding, because that implies there’s an inevitability about this that we just can’t accept,” Ms Stevens told Nine to Noon.
    “Inevitability comes with tides and with the sun rising but it doesn’t come with human behaviour, in our view.
    “As the report makes clear … these were choices that Mr Livingstone made, choices to murder his children and those choices would be different, in our view, given different factors.”
    Ms Stevens said three main factors were overlooked in the build-up to the murders: Mr Livingstone gave his children bullet casings as a present, his previous convictions were not considered and a prolonged rape of his wife.
    “So when the coroner finds that the following recommendations and comments are not intended to suggest that best practice by all the agencies involved would have altered the tragic outcome, we just can’t accept that, because how could it be best practice if two children would still be murdered by their father, two children who had a protection order,” she said.
    Best practice should have occurred and could have altered the outcome “because otherwise how can it be best practice – it would only be mediocre practice”.
    Ms Stevens said Ms Webb did not make a rape complaint against Mr Livingstone because her priority was to protect her children.
    However, he admitted the rape to others and police should have interviewed him about it, and could have charged him without Ms Webb having to lay the complaint, she said.
    “… she didn’t want to make a complaint of rape but that has to be held up against the fact that this is a woman who had been subjected to psychological abuse for a prolonged period of time – years – and so had entered into an arrangement of appeasement, doing whatever it was that would keep the peace, would keep things safe for the children, and her priority at this time was to get the children away and to get away from Mr Livingstone, so the rape, although awful, to Katharine at that time was actually one of the least of her problems.”
    Instead, her priority had been to get herself and her children away from Livingstone.
    Livingstone had breached his protection order twice before he went to his family’s home and shot the children dead, and family violence campaigners said the findings were a reminder there was more work to be done.
    Barrister and legal commentator Catriona MacLennan said she was frustrated at the lack of progress the coroner’s report showed.
    “The fact that the coroner’s first recommendation is that police should institute training to reinforce the message that any incident of family violence must be treated seriously.
    “It’s just quite unbelievable that that message still needs to be given to police.”
    The police said they had accepted the inquest findings, and had made a raft of changes, including setting up local specialist teams for such cases.
    Ms MacLennan said there was still a need for an attitude shift, not just by police, but everyone.
    “We look at when Mr Livingstone was before the court for the breach of protection order and the judge was weighing up the impact of a conviction on his employment and it seems to be that the potential impact on his employment outweighed the seriousness of the domestic violence issues.”
    The Ministry of Social Development said it, too, was looking at how to improve its practices, and said work was underway for a new system for inter-agency information sharing.
    Women’s Refuge chief executive Ang Jury said she would welcome more work in this area.
    “I think communication is improving, I think we’ve still got a way to go, but I think there’s a tendency for us, for all agencies involved, to be working from their particular perspective, which sometimes isn’t as helpful as it could be.”
    Dunedin’s family violence response co-ordinator Rob Thomson said the responsibility for preventing domestic violence could not lie solely with police and agencies.
    “Until we come to the next case and people say what’s wrong with protection orders, what’s wrong with our system, people are asking the wrong question, they should be asking, what am I going to do to ensure this event never happens again?”
    Dr Thomson said people needed take it upon themselves to help protect those around them from violence.
    RNZ Link

    • Elizabeth

      ODT Online Wed, 24 Jun 2015
      Findings difficult to accept
      By Timothy Brown
      The mother of slain siblings Bradley and Ellen Livingstone refuses to accept that authorities could not have saved her children’s lives.
      Read more

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Heard it at the time, amazed that any spokesperson for any organisation could have the front to come up with such a midden of bullshit.
      Nobody appears to have communicated adequately with anyone else. Didn’t anyone spot that the perp was smart and highly manipulative, didn’t they mention that to anyone else?
      Given his occupation, on top of his basic nature, he had had ample opportunity to observe what signals corrections and mental health professionals look out for, that indicate mad/bad/dangerous to others/risk of self-harm.

      As for alerts – am I the only one who got deja-vu whiplash from the bullet casings …um, mishandling? Arthur Allan Thomas, explanation for those who didn’t feel it.
      Lost, found. Police porkies. Excuses.
      Accursed reruns.
      Bring back John Campbell.

  33. Elizabeth

    “…multiple failings by police, social agencies and mental health professionals meant the murderous intent of a vengeful father was missed.”

    ODT Editorial: Removing silo mentality

  34. Hype O'Thermia

    The rape victim didn’t want to press charges, and she had solved her own problems by moving to a new address. Could any excuse for doing nothing about a serious crime be lamer?
    Given police uselessness (widely known, esp by people who have protection orders to PROTECT them against mad/bad exes) the likelihood that he would be left at large after being brought in and charged is a huge disincentive, particularly when he has breached the conditions already imposed, over and over, with no consequences to him.
    The police have to sharpen up their act. Government needs to support them in this, lower priority to notionally saving lives by fining drivers driving safely at a few k’s over the limit, damn-all priority to “reefer madness”, higher priority to safety in individual vs other individuals situations.

  35. Calvin Oaten

    Looking on the plus side the police actions worked well for David Bendson-Pope.

  36. Hype O'Thermia

    “We have made extensive changes since…. (sex shows, Louise Nicolas, Iraena Asher etc etc”

  37. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 14 Jul 2015
    Police maintain silence on disciplinary actions
    By Timothy Brown
    Southern police have continued to decline to say what disciplinary actions were taken against officers responsible for failures in the handling of child killer Edward Livingstone. Repeated attempts by the Otago Daily Times to uncover how many officers were disciplined for their handling of the Livingstone case and what measures they faced have been rejected by Southern police.
    Read more

  38. Elizabeth

    Earlier in December, the Ombudsman advised police of his final opinion that information the ODT requested in July last year was of public interest.

    Investigations into the officers who dealt with Edward Livingstone revealed “systemic failures and issues” among Dunedin police in the lead-up to the tragic deaths of his two children.

    Mon, 26 Dec 2016
    ODT: Deficient policing detailed
    ….The employment investigations which followed the deaths of Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) Livingstone at the hands of their father uncovered breaches of the police code of conduct by officers, a report about police handling of the case has revealed. Livingstone was the subject of a protection order when he shot his children on January 15, 2014, with a stolen 12-gauge Stoeger shotgun in the Kiwi St, St Leonards, home they shared with their mother, Livingstone’s estranged wife, Katharine Webb. Cont/

    The Livingstone Family Violence Investigation Report: Adequacy of Dunedin police service delivery, written by then Detective Inspector Virginia Le Bas, now national manager, organised crime, revealed that at the time of the tragedy:
    ● One person within Dunedin police was assigned 200 to 300 family violence files without administrative support.
    ● National policy on intimate partner rape was lacking.
    ● Greater leadership in cases of adult sexual assault and family violence in Dunedin was required.
    ● Officers involved in the case breached the police code of conduct.

    Related Post and Comments:
    20.12.15 NZ Police family violence campaign #WalkAway


    Last week, police in the district responded to at least 45 reports of family violence and 10 serious assaults.

    Mon, 26 Dec 2016
    ODT: Speak out about violence, police urge
    Southern police are calling on residents to take a stand against family violence this holiday season … Southern district victims manager Inspector Matt Scoles said family members and neighbours should intervene to prevent family violence. “As a mate, family member and community member, we all have a responsibility to prevent family violence and the harm that occurs,” he said. “Sometimes just one action or comment can make the difference … “Don’t ask yourself ‘what will happen if I say something?’ What will happen if you don’t?” Cont/

    In the Otago Coastal area – encompassing Dunedin, Waitaki and Clutha – police attended more than 250 events of family violence every month.

    via ODT

    What you can do
    ● Challenge the behaviour — but never risk  your own or others’ safety.
    ● Offer support to victims and find out what they need.
    ● Make your home a safe place for them and a place they can come to talk.
    ● Call 111 if you believe someone is in danger. 
    ● Call the It’s Not OK information line, 0800 456-450, for advice.
    ● Provide information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.
    More information:

    —Call Dunedin Police 03 471 4800.

  39. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Sun, 21 May 2017
    ODT: ‘I don’t think I’m a hero’
    By Jessica Wilson – The Star
    A Dunedin man who was “just doing what I had to do” will be publicly acknowledged for his bravery on Tuesday. More than three years since he rushed to his neighbour’s home to try to save Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, Chris Foot will receive a New Zealand Bravery Decoration. Chris Foot was an ordinary man who found himself involved in an extraordinary tragedy on January 15, 2014. When Edward Livingstone burst into the St Leonards home of his estranged wife Katharine Webb and their two children Bradley (9) and Ellen (6) with a shotgun and a container of petrol, Mr Foot rushed over to try to help the children. […] Mr Foot will travel to Wellington to accept his New Zealand Bravery Decoration and has been invited to have dinner with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy. The decoration is awarded for acts of exceptional bravery in situations of danger. Cont/

  40. Elizabeth

    At Facebook:

    Wed, 24 May 2017
    ODT: Award tribute to young victims
    By Shawn McAvinue
    A Dunedin man accepted a bravery award yesterday to pay tribute to the ”loving memory” of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone. Chris Foot (42) received a New Zealand Bravery Decoration from Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at Government House in Wellington for his actions on January 15, 2014. […] Those attending the ceremony yesterday included his operations manager from JPM Holdings and several family members, including his wife, Melanie. The ceremony was ”overwhelming and surreal” and a world apart from his job truck driving. Cont/

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