Ed Livingstone's former wife felt "constantly harassed"
and feared for the safety of her family in the months before he
killed their two children and took his own life, according to
Three months before this week's killing, the 51-year-old was
discharged without conviction for breaching a protection
order against his family for a second time.
In his judgment then, Judge Stephen Coyle said Livingstone's
estranged wife, Katherine Webb, felt "constantly harassed"
and feared for her own safety and that of her
Livingstone called her
cellphone and left a message, apologising for his past
actions, on October 11.
"That you made contact, in and of itself, was frightening to
your wife ... she realised the calls were from you and
because of the frequency of the calls on the cellphone, she
became very anxious and fearful, and she felt alone and
unprotected," the judgment noted.
"She remains fearful that you will breach the protection
order and describes feeling constantly harassed and fearful
for her safety and that of the children.
"She states candidly that she cannot take much more of the
contact from you and the breaches of the protection order."
The protection order had been issued on May 5. It was issued
by Ms Webb, but also applied to their children.
The maximum penalty for breaching the order at the time was
two years' imprisonment yet Livingstone walked away without a
conviction the second time after receiving diversion the
The breach was described in the judge's decision as multiple
phone calls to both Ms Webb's landline and mobile phone, and
a voicemail left on her home phone.
"The content of the message, it is accepted, was not in any
way threatening or intimidating, but ... that you made
contact, in and of itself, was frightening to your wife."
In his defence, Livingstone said he believed he would lose
his Corrections job at Otago Prison if he were convicted.
He had seen a psychiatrist following the incident, he said,
"who changed the medication [he was] receiving" to make him
Judge Coyle approved Livingstone's appeal for conviction
without on the basis a conviction would be ``out of
proportion'', and he walked free.
"There is a real and appreciable risk that you might lose
your employment as a consequence, and I am satisfied that
that consequence is out of proportion to the gravity of your
offending and I grant the application," he said.
The defendant's age and lack of previous convictions were
also taken into account, as was his "mental health issues
which have now, to a large extent, been alleviated through
the adjustment of [his] medication".
Livingstone was instead ordered to make a $500 donation to
the Dunedin Stopping Violence programme.
Livingstone planned to burn down house
Edward Livingstone arrived at his former family home in
Dunedin with a petrol canister planning to burn down the
house with his children and himself inside, former friends
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.
The source said Livingstone showed up at Kiwi St, in the
suburb of St Leonards, on Wednesday night with a petrol
His plan was foiled when Ms Webb ran next door to try to get
friend Chris Foot to talk him down.
Mr Foot confronted Livingstone from the front porch.
Livingstone was reloading his double-barrelled shotgun when
Mr Foot arrived.
He then loaded it, aimed the gun at Mr Foot, and stumbled
back when he fired a shot at his head.
The shot narrowly missed Mr Foot, passing over his head.
He then ran round the back of the house to try to get the two
children, Bradley, 9, and Ellen, 6, out but found them dead
in their beds.
Livingstone then turned the gun on himself and took his own
He and Ms Webb split up last May and Livingstone took it very
badly, friends say.
"He had this premeditated," the source said.
"He told me in August what he wanted to do. He made his mind
up months ago.
"He told us what he wanted to do was that he wanted to kill
his family, leave them in their bed, take an overdose of
sleeping tablets, pour petrol around the beds, and light it.
"He was consumed with revenge. The kids were Katharine's life
- they were the centre of her universe - and he knew that
killing them was the worst thing he could do to her, and
that's why he did it.
"He was psychotic. He had serious mental health problems."
The woman said he had his own house key that Ms Webb didn't
He used that key to gain entry through a side door, armed
with the petrol canister. The keys were still in the lock to
the door after the shootings, the source said.
The source said the woman had no time to get her kids out of
the house and away from Livingstone.
"He had a gun and she was petrified. The kids were asleep and
there was no way she could've got them out alone. He would've
shot them there and then.
"So she tried to get Chris (Foot) to try to do something."
Ms Webb was so scared of Livingstone that she slept in her
bedroom with a loud panic alarm beside her bed.
She had told neighbours that if they ever heard the alarm
sounding, to phone police immediately, "because it was him
Police are continuing their scene examination today at the St
Leonards address and this is expected to be completed in the
next few days.
Police are also continuing today to speak with neighbour.
The post-mortems of the victims will be completed today.
Police will be continuing their investigation over the coming
days on behalf of the coroner.
Police said today they have no further comment to make around
the details of the investigation as these are now matters for
the consideration of the coroner.