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The man at the centre of the St Leonards triple fatality had twice been charged with breaching a Domestic Violence Act protection order.
Edward Hamilton Livingstone appeared in the Dunedin District Court in November for sentence after earlier admitting the breach - his second - and was discharged without conviction on the payment of $500 to Stopping Violence Dunedin, a charity nominated by the victim, whose identity was suppressed.
At that court appearance, it was revealed Mr Livingstone was at that time attending counselling.
Mr Livingstone's lawyer, John Westgate, told the court his client had breached the protection order when his medication for mental health issues was being stabilised.
The breach involved Mr Livingstone telephoning the protected person and leaving a message on September 14.
Mr Westgate said the message was not threatening or intimidating, and Mr Livingstone had made the call to apologise for his earlier behaviour.
A conviction would jeopardise Mr Livingstone's employment, Mr Westgate said then.
For the earlier protection order breach, Mr Livingstone had been granted diversion.
Mr Livingstone, who had been employed at the Otago Corrections Facility at Milburn since it opened in 2007 as a ''non-custodial'' administrator, had notified his boss when he was first charged and had taken time off.
Corrections Department acting chief executive Jeremy Lightfoot said Mr Livingstone had no contact or direct involvement with inmates.
After Corrections became aware of the protection order charge in August, it worked with Mr Livingstone to ensure he had adequate support.
''He was going through a marriage break-up,'' Mr Lightfoot said.
''As any good employer would, we were making sure he had access to our employee assistance programmes and counselling.''
Mr Livingstone told his bosses about the second breach of the protection order in mid-September.
''At that point, we wanted to take the opportunity to assess the situation. We suspended him for a period of about a month and he returned to work in mid-October.
''We maintained contact with him throughout that time, offering provision of additional counselling and support.''
The prison manager contacted Mr Livingstone just before Christmas, and he indicated his life was taking a positive turn.
''At that time, he said he had formed a new relationship. Indications were that he was starting to feel more positive and things were perhaps turning a corner,'' Mr Lightfoot said.
Staff were shocked yesterday at news of the shootings.
''It has hit the site pretty hard. This will have a significant impact on staff.''
Where to get help
Family violence agencies. -
Te Whare Pounamu Women's Refuge: 0800-733-843
Rape Crisis: (03) 474-1592
Stopping Violence Dunedin: 0800-474-1121
Te Roopu Tautoko Ki Te Tonga Inc: (03) 477-4670
Relationships Aotearoa: 0800-735-283
Jigsaw Wakatipu: 0508-440-255Shine: 0508-744-633
Depression Helpline: 0800-693-342
LifeLine New Zealand: 0800-543-354
Union of Fathers: 0508-225-532
In an emergency: Dial 111