Offers of support flood in

On the tribute display at St Leonards School is Bradley's hat and Ellen's shoes.
On the tribute display at St Leonards School is Bradley's hat and Ellen's shoes.
Support and offers of help for Katharine Webb, whose children were found dead inside their St Leonards home this week, are coming from far and wide.

A bank account has been opened for Ms Webb (formerly Katharine Livingstone), after her children Bradley (9), and Ellen (6) Livingstone were shot on Wednesday night.

Her estranged husband Edward Livingstone (51), was also found dead inside her Kiwi St house.

Ms Webb (49), fled to a neighbours' at the time and was now being cared for by relatives, who asked for privacy yesterday.

Dozens of people, both in and outside the St Leonards community, have rallied in the wake of the triple fatality.

The bank account for Ms Webb was established by staff from St Leonards School, which her children attended.

Board of trustees chairwoman Ceri Warnock said the school had been inundated with people asking how they could help.

''You can understand that response. It's unimaginable what the children's mother, Katharine, must be going through.

''So, although it's a small thing, the school has set up an account to receive donations to help Katharine and to allow people to express their sympathies in that way,'' she said.

The ANZ bank account (06-0909-0401308-00) was under the name St Leonards School Board of Trustees, and further details about it were on the school's website.

The school was opened on Thursday and yesterday for anyone in the community who wanted to comfort one another or receive help to deal with the deaths.

Principal Jo Wilson said a large number of parents and children gathered there yesterday.

''There's a huge amount of support, and we'll just look after each other,'' she said.

The Ministry of Education had been in contact, to ask when people would be ready to receive counselling or any other help, Mrs Wilson said.

''We've even had, to her credit, [Education Minister] Hekia Parata call to check how we are doing, and we've had help from Victim Support and Workplace Support as well.''

The local Lions club had also offered help, she said.

''You couldn't ask for better support. It's a real community thing.''

Mrs Wilson said the best way people could help Ms Webb at the moment was by donating to the bank account.

She said Ms Webb had a lot to organise, including a funeral, and that was her priority.

''A donation at least is something people can do, and I think at the moment that's the best way to help, until the world stops spinning slightly. It's appreciated and it will help,'' Mrs Wilson said.

Children who attended the school and who knew Bradley and Ellen, were coping in their own way, she said.

''They've written letters and brought little things in to the school to stick on the office wall.''

Mrs Wilson thanked everyone for their kind words and support, which she and others were passing on to Ms Webb.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said he want to express ''sympathy and care'' to Ms Webb on behalf of Dunedin residents.

''She is in everybody's thoughts in the city.''

Adults and children laid flowers at a letterbox outside the house in Kiwi St yesterday, as the howling wind fluttered the police cordon tape.

Children's handwriting in cards on pots of bright flowers read ''Sorry about your life. P.S. We miss you. from Eva.'' and ''I really enjoyed playing metal busted with you. Farewell. Love Arthur.''

Mrs Wilson told APNZ the school was working with Ms Webb to plan a lasting memorial to Bradley and Ellen. Since Bradley, along with his mother, was keen on orienteering, one idea put forward was the creation of an orienteering track which could be named in his honour.

Another idea was to renovate the school library and somehow tie it in with Bradley and Ellen, who, Ms Wilson said, was ''arty, and loved ballet, dancing and singing''.

''We want to do something that is about them, and to provide a lasting memory. When we go, we do not want them forgotten,'' she said.

Bradley and Ellen were popular kids with many friends - ''they were both just lovely kids,'' she said.

A Facebook tribute page called ''RIP Bradley and Ellen Livingstone'' was established on Thursday afternoon, and last night had about 2000 ''likes''.

More than 60 messages were posted on the website, citing the ''beautiful'' Livingstone children, taken ''senselessly and tragically'', and offering support to Ms Webb.

''You will not be forgotten and will be talked about and remembered always. I cannot begin to imagine your pain Katharine,'' one post said.

''My thoughts and deepest sympathy to you and your parents. Words cannot express the sorrow we all feel at your loss.''

Another said ''Gone to soon, such beautiful angels shining in the sky now. Thinking of you Katharine and your family and friends''.

One post said ''I saw you both on Sunday and you were just the same only bigger! Words cannot express the heartache left behind for your dear mum and friends.

''Wishes of hope, strength and love go to Katharine. A strong wonderful person, may the love your children shared with you give you the strength for the day by day.''

Other messages chastised police and the justice system for not being able to prevent the deaths.

''Every time I hear it on the news it brings me to tears! How could a father do that!!! All my thoughts are with the mother. If only the police had done their job, this could have been stopped ... like many other cases,'' a post said.

Another said ''This is another breach of a protection order, they need to step it up and protect these poor precious children that get caught in the middle''.

The sentiment was mirrored in another post which stated ''sadly this is just another statistic for how many breach [of] protection orders''.

''Something needs to happen to our law system here in New Zealand. Our penalties for breaching protection orders etc need to be harsher.''

- rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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