Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
about 70km south of his
family --- a wife he was barred
from contacting and children
he could see only under
He was in a house rented
from prison colleague Malcolm
Kiri just five minutes drive
from the Otago Correctional
Facility, giving him little reason
to travel to Dunedin.
Livingstone did make the
journey --- he was served a
final protection order on
July 24 and breached it on
August 6. Constable
Katherine Saxton later told the court Livingstone
was "e-mailing the victim, telephoning her at work,
loitering outside her address in his vehicle and going
on to the property when she was not home".
In the e-mail, Livingstone wrote of their finances,
their relationship and how he wanted it to continue.
He rang Ms Webb to say he was coming to her
home that evening to talk. Court documents show
he lurked around the property from 3pm until she
arrived in St Leonard s about 8pm. Seeing his car,
she hid on a side street and called police.
Livingstone was given "diversion" by police, a "get
out of jail free card" which sees charges waived under
e decision to do so appears to be a mistake,
and might have led to Livingstone receiving lighter
treatment for the next breach.
Ms Saxton later told the court: " e defendant
was dealt with by way of the police diversion scheme
and undertook counselling. e (scheme) prohibits
diversion for breaches of court orders therefore this
matter should not have been resolved in this way."
His breach in August and earlier mental health stay
had his lawyer seeking advice on Livingstone s state
of mind for his court appearance.
Southern District Health Board psychiatrist
Dr Christopher Wisely wrote on August 16 that he
had been seeing Livingstone for a month.
"It seems that he was clearly suffering with a
moderately severe depressive disorder at the time
that his relationship fell apart with his wife."
Part of the problem was a reaction to a bupropion,
commonly called Zyban, prescribed for stopping
smoking. Livingstone had "restarted it unbeknown to
"He had an untoward reaction in which he became
effectively psychotic. e reactions are rare but
certainly not unheard of with bupropion. It appears
these symptoms dissipated after he stopped the
medication (emphasis added)."
It was an excuse Livingstone would use again ---
even though his doctor said he had stopped taking
that particular type of medication.
In the letter, Dr Wisely said he had prescribed
new drugs, an anti-depressant and an anti-psychotic,
noting "he is extremely remorseful about events that
occurred between he and his wife and feels that he
now has a normal emotional experience.
"I do not have any concerns about his current
mental state with regard to danger to his wife Kath
or their two children."
It was a reassurance of safety repeated in a letter
from psychotherapist Marie Ann Robertson, who
wrote to the court saying Livingstone had "severe
depression that had been covert for many years"
caused by "repeated childhood trauma that had never
been addressed. I do not believe he is a violent man."
Livingstone was "often in a self-protective
dissociated state that has incapacitated his state of
awareness", Ms Robertson wrote. He was a "more
settled man" after therapy. "He is suffering a great
deal of grief over his previous lack of insight. His
love and concern for his family has been at the
forefront of his motivation."
It appears from the court file Livingstone was given
diversion on August 28, conditional on doing a 12-
week "stopping violence" course.
Just two weeks later, on September 14, Livingstone
was again caught breaking the protection order. In a
police interview, he was asked what had happened.
"I rang her and left a recorded message,"
Livingstone told the police officer. "I said that I loved
her and that I loved Bradley and Ellen.
"What happened between us, wasn t me that done
it. It was a reaction to the Zyban (which his doctor
said he had stopped using) that made me psychotic.
I just asked her if she would consider rebuilding our
"You have to understand I was pretty upset at the
Do you understand the protection order?
" at I m not allowed to approach Kath, text or
Are you aware you can t phone her?
"I don t think that was on the protection order."
Why did you call her in breach of the protection
"I broke down. I couldn t rationalise anything."
How do you think she felt?
"I didn t think at all, it is what I am saying. I wasn t
thinking at all this morning."
Have you breached the protection order before.
"Yes. I e-mailed her."
Is there anything you would like to add.
"I am very sorry I upset Kath."
With a new charge, Dr Wisely was again called on
to update Livingstone s lawyers. e psychiatrist said
Livingstone had spoken to him about breaching the
order: "I know that he was feeling quite low in his
mood at the time and missing his children terribly,
and I understand the message was simply to express
his understandable grief and sorrow about the
Again, he offered an assurance of safety, writing
that "I certainly do not think he is at any ongoing
risk of harming his wife".
Medication had been changed, he wrote, and
Livingstone was "resolving a number of issues very
well related to his relationship break-up".
Losing his job would be devastating, Dr Wisely
wrote, because of the difficulty he would have
in finding another at his age. "I am somewhat
concerned for him in that he does not have a large
number of social contacts in New Zealand, coming
originally from Australia."
Livingstone was suspended from work, although
told an employment investigation would not begin
until the court process was finalised.
He appeared in the Dunedin District Court on
November 15, lawyer John Westgate asking for
a discharge without conviction because of the
likelihood he would lose his job. Livingstone, in an
affidavit, told the court losing his job would affect
his ability to pay child support, and "would adversely
affect not only me but my children as well".
Police opposed. Mr Saxton told the court there was
no proof Livingstone would lose his job. A discharge
without conviction could make little difference;
the prison service listed an admission of offence as
grounds enough for sacking --- and the guilty plea
needed for the discharge would be that admission.
ere was a plea from Ms Webb. Mr Saxton told
the court she "wishes the court to know that she does
not support the defendant being granted a discharge
"She states it took a lot of courage to call the
police on each occasion as she was so scared of the
defendant and she believes he knew exactly what he
was doing and what the consequences would be."
It was not enough. Livingstone pleaded guilty, was
discharged without conviction on condition he pay
$500 towards Stopping Violence Dunedin, where he
was still attending a domestic violence programme
from his first breach.
e final note on the court file is a copy of a letter
to Livingstone on November 27 telling him the
charges from his first breach had been dismissed
with diversion now completed.
Livingstone received a written warning from
Corrections on December 9 and went back to work.
He began telling people he had come to terms
with the separation. He spoke of a relationship
with a woman in Christchurch. Some believe
this was a distraction from his true intent, and an
embellishment of the nature of the relationship.
A friend of Ms Webb told the Herald it was about
this time Livingstone cancelled the Kiwi St house
Some believe this was when he decided on a fatal
course of events. He no longer faced the scrutiny of
the courts, his employer had completed its inquiry
--- but he also knew he had used every last chance he
could wrest from the system.
From here, any contact would surely cost him his
job, earn him a conviction and bar him from access
to his children.
Family violence experts say this was a man
determined now to take everything from his wife he
"His behaviour is nothing to do with medicine or
mental health," Jill Proudfoot, of domestic abuse help
agency Shine, said.
"His behaviour is about obsession. It is about
punishment. It is about revenge."
It was a beautiful place, St Leonard s. When they
were alive, Bradley and Ellen would walk the short
distance to their school. eir uphill neighbour
Patricia Haraki, 70, would see them head off about
8am to walk the 600m to the school gate. She recalls
Ellen s joy at any opportunity to chat on the way to
school in the morning.
" e wee boy didn t like the girl talking," she
says, painting a picture of a big brother with the
important task of escorting his sister to school.
Ellen would chatter, with Bradley next to her
insisting: "We ve got to go."
Off they would go, meeting other children at the
top of the road.
St Leonard s School itself is stunning and
contained, with only about 60 children. ey would
have the funeral here, farewelling Bradley and
Ellen among the bright streaks of colour on the
classrooms and playground. e Education Review
Office praises the way teachers work with students:
"Students learn in a family-like atmosphere where
they know each other well."
Mrs Haraki says January 15 was a beautiful day.
She had not long returned from a nearby barbecue
and thinks it was about 9pm when she heard Ms
Crying is not the right word, she says. Having been
to a few tangi, she touches the pit of her stomach
and says the sound she heard was the noise made
when emotion bubbles up from deep down. "It
makes your hair stand on end."
"He s got a gun," she heard Ms Webb screaming,
running out the front door of her home. Mrs Haraki
made her way outside and looked over the back fence
to where Bradley and Ellen had played in a tent
just weeks before, laughter spilling over the fence
She could see the back door open, light shining
from inside. She heard the shots --- Livingstone had
turned back inside the house while Ms Webb sought
help from the downhill neighbours, Chris and Mel
Foot. eir children (and one on a sleepover) were
awake inside. eir eldest was Bradley s best mate ---
Ellen had her heart set on marrying him when when
they grew up. Now he lay awake, listening to the shot
which killed her and his friend.
When next Mrs Haraki looked over the fence, she
saw Chris Foot confronting Livingstone. "I looked
up and saw a man on the step," she says.
Mr Foot said: "Don t you point that gun at me."
Livingstone stepped, slipped and as the shotgun
tilted up, let loose a shot intended for his former
en Mrs Haraki was back inside, calling police.
She heard another shot. When she looked out again,
Mr Foot had been into the house to check on the
children. ere was nothing --- death and a can of
petrol. Livingstone had planned to burn down the
house from which he removed insurance.
Mrs Haraki watched Mr Foot come out. "I knew
something had happened by the way he was walking
around and around the grass." e story "needs to
be told", she says. "Nobody could talk about it at the
When it happened, it was all they could manage to
talk to each other.
And the children. All those parents had to talk to
Brendan Whipp s boys Bradley, 10, and Connor,
8, would play with Livingstone s children. For Mr
Whipp and wife Sandra, as it was with many parents
in the area, the aftermath meant dealing with the
horror of the attack and working out how to explain
it to their children.
"In that situation, how do you tell your kids?" he
asks. "No community should have to go through
A stay-at-home dad himself, Mr Whipp had a few
phone calls the day after as other parents searched
for a way to explain to their children.
"You ve got to get your own head right first," he
"We told them the truth --- that Bradley and
Ellen had been killed by their father. It s better them
hearing from us," Mr Whipp said. "I didn t go into
the details ... and then answered the questions they
had. ey did ask how. We said it didn t matter how."
And why? "We explained their father was very
sick." And you have to be careful saying that, he says,
because you don t want children fearful of others
they believe might also be "sick". "It s not something
I would think you d ever think you d have to be
How could you prepare, he wonders? "You want
to protect your family and can t grasp the concept of
why. I still can t."
e second day after the killings, the boys had
a friend over. As kids do, they talked it over. e
playmate came armed with more knowledge. "And I
had some more questions to answer then.
"My youngest asked: Will they have toys in
heaven? He brought down one of his favourite toys
and left it (outside the house) so they would have
something to play with."
So, yes, Mr Whipp said they had gone to heaven.
"It s the easiest way to explain it. All kids know about
Connor had a stomach ache the next day; so uneasy
he vomited. "He was just anxious. en there were
Mr Whipp keeps coming up with answers for the
boys but knows "you re never going to figure out why
... It ll never make sense to anybody."
It did not make sense to Livingstone s workmates.
ey told shopkeepers in Milton of their
astonishment, their appalled horror. His landlord, Mr
Kiri, refused to talk about Livingstone, saying he did
not know him. " e guy I knew was normal."
Also searching for answers are the police, with
officers investigating the handling of protection
orders --- and the use of diversion. Officers met the
coroner on February 4 with an update on the inquiry.
No date is yet set for a full hearing.
Livingstone had no funeral. He was cremated, and
his only friend, Rob McFarlane, is talking with his
mate s few remaining family members about what to
do with the ashes.
He is also trying to answer questions. Mr
McFarlane, who now lives in Christchurch,
shouldered the terrible burden of what happened and
went back to Australia.
e pair have friends there who had no idea what
had come of Livingstone. Person by person, he
worked his way back through their shared history
and passed the burden to others.
It became no lighter for the sharing. " at sort of
brought it all back again. It s still pretty raw for me,"
e people he spoke to never knew Livingstone as
ey could not understand the man they knew
committing such monstrous acts.
Yet, Mr McFarlane said, it was all the more
unimaginable that Livingstone the father would
commit such a terrible sin.
"He loved his kids --- absolutely adored them."
Part two of a two-part series. Part one was
4 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1570 - England s Queen Elizabeth I is
excommunicated by Pope Pius V.
1836 - American inventor Samuel Colt
patents his revolver.
1899 - Death in France of Paul
Julius Reuter, German founder of
the international news agency that
bears his name.
1948 - Communist coup in
1961 - Sydney s last tram runs, to
La Perouse in the eastern suburbs.
1964 - Cassius Clay (Mohammad Ali)
becomes world heavyweight boxing champion
for the first time by knocking out Sonny Liston
1991 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
orders his forces, under attack by allied ground
troops, to withdraw from Kuwait.
1992 - Imelda Marcos accepts Philippine
government conditions for returning her
husband s body.
1994 - Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein,
armed with an automatic rifle and hand
grenades, kills 40 Muslims at a mosque in
Hebron, before being beaten to death.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Pierre Auguste Renoir, French artist
(1841-1919); Enrico Caruso, Italian opera
singer (1873-1921); Dame Myra
Hess, English pianist (1890-
1965); Tom Courtenay, English
actor (1937-); Peewee Wilson,
Australian musician (1940-);
George Harrison, English singer
and Beatle member (1943-2001);
Tea Leoni, US actress (1966-);
Benji Marshall, New Zealand rugby league
and rugby footballer (1985-); James and Oliver
Phelps, British actors who played the Weasley
twins in the Harry Potter films (1986-).
"Hero-worship is strongest where there is
least regard for human freedom." --- Herbert
Spencer, British philosopher (1820-1903).
" e Sawyer s
Creek problem is out
of our hands now,"
the secretary of the
Westland Catchment Board, Mr LM Power,
told the Evening Star this morning. "All
complaints on flooding in the creek should
now be referred to the borough council. We
can t do anything. We can t carry out work
piecemeal. ere is no subsidy available for
this type of work. We have to operate on a
Mr Power was commenting on the
Greymouth Borough Council s decision to turn
down the board s £60,000 scheme for flood
control in the creek. A number of complaints
had been received from residents in the area
about the flooding after Christmas, said Mr
e Greymouth Harbour Board is to
lose the ser vices of its engineer-manager Mr
B G Dowrick, the man largely responsible for
several important new port developments here.
He has been appointed to the post of engineer
to the Westland County Council, an office he
will take up at about the end of May.
e new job will mean Mr Dowrick will be
reverting to county engineering. Before joining
the harbour board six years ago, Mr Dowrick
was for three years with the Marlborough
County Council as assistant engineer.
A commemorative plaque to honour both
pioneers of the district and servicemen who
gave their lives in two world wars was unveiled
in a ceremony at Blacks Point on Saturday.
ere was a gathering of about 200 people.
e impressive ceremony commenced with
a parade led by the Reefton District High
School cadets. e Inangahua Silver Band
provided music for the occasion.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
"He came to Jesus by night and said to Him,
Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has
come from God; for no one can do these signs
that You do apart from the presence of God ."
--- John 3:2
In the end, revenge
all that mattered
New Zealand Herald
FISHER s investigation
into the murder of
two Dunedin children
at the hands of their
Edward Livingstone s
movements --- and
run-ins with the courts
--- after his marriage
PICTURES: Otago Daily Times
Bradley, nine, and Ellen, six, Livingstone.
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