The tragic deaths of two Dunedin children shot by their
father Edward Livingstone earlier this year could have been
prevented if New Zealand and Australian police shared
information on criminal convictions, TVNZ has reported.
Livingstone killed his two children Bradley, 9, and Ellen, 6,
at their mother's home in Dunedin in January, before turning
the gun on himself.
TVNZ reported tonight that Livingstone had previously been
convicted for arson in Sydney, after trying to burn down his
then-girlfriend's house when she broke up with him.
The incident occurred 30 years ago.
He also assaulted a flatmate during the same incident,
ripping the phone from his girlfriend's hands to prevent her
from calling police, TVNZ reported.
New Zealand judges were unaware of Livingstone's past
conviction and behaviour when he appeared before the courts
for twice breaching a protection order against his ex-wife,
Three months before Livingstone shot his children, the
51-year-old was discharged without conviction for breaching a
protection order against his family for a second time.
In his judgment at that time, Judge Stephen Coyle said
Livingstone's estranged wife, Katherine Webb, felt
"constantly harassed" and"feared for her safety and that of
Judith Collins told TVNZ that Livingstone's past conviction
showed "an attitude about getting your own way that would be
However, knowledge of the conviction in Australia may not
have made any difference.
"It's 30-years-old and it may or may not have made a
difference," Ms Collins told TVNZ.
"My understanding is, is that the information, his
convictions or conviction would have been covered by the
clean slate legislation."
Family law expert Mark Henaghan supported calls for sharing
of conviction information between New Zealand and Australian
"I think it shows a gap in our system," he said of
Livingstone's Australian conviction.
"I think it will be very helpful for the police in both
countries in fact, given that may people travel between the
two countries, to have Australasian convictions easily
accessible so that straight away you've got access to it and
you can then investigate and follow up," he told TVNZ.