The son of Black Widow murderer Helen Milner, is suing
her for $60,000 after she framed him for a crime he never
Adam Kearns, 18, spent 18 days in jail, set up by his other
who sent herself violent death threat texts and pretended
they came from him.
Mr Kearns was arrested, denied bail, and spent 18 days in
jail for a crime he didn't do.
Milner was jailed in August last year for two years and eight
months for perverting the course of justice in framing her
Mr Kearns' lawyer Kerry Cook confirmed he is seeking $60,000
in damages from Milner.
Mr Cook said his client is suing over a "malicious
prosecution ... that she knew to be false''.
"I've got instructions to file a claim against Milner for the
time Adam wrongly spent in jail,'' Mr Cook said.
A letter of demand was served on Milner during her High Court
murder trial, he said.
Milner had yet to respond.
Problems with investigation - Police
A senior police officer has acknowledged significant flaws in
the way the death of Black Widow victim Phil Nisbet was first
Police initially ruled the 47-year-old's death in 2009 was a
suicide. A homicide probe - which ultimately led to his wife
Helen Milner being found guilty of murder today - was
launched only after a coroner raised concerns.
This afternoon Canterbury Police district investigations
manager Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald confirmed to APNZ
that the first investigation was badly flawed.
"It wasn't treated as a homicide. Unfortunately, that was the
mistake that was made," he said.
"Therefore all those parts of an investigation which we would
expect, with interviews, exhibit handling and everything that
goes with that to a standard I would expect, weren't
"It was treated as an unexplained death and it wasn't given
the normal investigation we would expect of a homicide
investigation. That's where it starts and stops really.
Because of that, the investigation wasn't done as it should
Mr Fitzgerald expressed concern that senior officers did not
listen to worries raised by the first two officers on the
scene, who had suspicions over how things were playing out.
They thought Milner's hysterical actions amounted to "acting"
and found it too "convenient" that she switched on her
cellphone in front of them to receive a supposed suicide text
from Mr Nisbet.
"The initial investigating officers didn't treat it as a
homicide. Taking into account what was said by those that
first attended, that should have certainly pushed them in
that direction. Unfortunately in this case, it didn't happen.
"There were a number of points that were not done correctly."
An internal investigation was carried out and the Independent
Police Conduct Authority was brought in.
The IPCA did not take things further, but the first officers
in charge of the investigation - detectives Richard Prosser
and Scott Anderson - have been "counselled over their
treatment" of the initial inquiry, Mr Fitzgerald confirmed.
"They were spoken to in respect of their shortcomings and
everything was made clear as to what those shortcomings
A spokeswoman for the IPCA confirmed a complaint was received
in August this year relating to "an allegation of an
inadequate police investigation".
"Because police had already investigated the substance of the
complaint and had effectively upheld it, and taken
disciplinary action against the officers involved, the IPCA
referred the matter back to police to engage with the
complainant to resolve the matter," the IPCA said today.