Black Widow's son admits charges

The son of convicted murderer Helen Milner has today admitted possession of a sawn-off shotgun that he got for his own protection after hearing that his mother had hired a hitman to kill him.

Adam Kearns, 23, was arrested in an armed raid in the east of Christchurch in November after police suspected he was dealing drugs.

He told police that he had the gun because his mother - who is known as the 'Black Widow' and is serving a life sentence for the murder of her second husband Phil Nisbet - had wanted him killed.

"My old lady is paying for a hit to be put on me," he said at his first court appearance.

Today, Kearns, who last year won a $55,000 compensation claim against Milner who framed him by sending herself death threats and got him falsely jailed, appeared at Christchurch District Court.

Police this morning withdrew a raft of charges and he pleaded guilty to a representative charge of selling the class A drug cannabis, possession of cannabis, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The police summary of facts said Kearns was at his Southshore home with two friends on November 21 last year when they caught him selling drugs.

At about 1.20pm, Kearns sold some marijuana to an associate who was stopped by police soon after leaving the address.

Officers found him in possession of 11 large snaplock sandwich bags amounting to approximately 300 grams of dried cannabis.

Ten minutes later, a female associate walked out of Kearns' house and was found with 96 grams of cannabis leaf that she admitted buying from him for $1400.

At about 1.50pm, another man was caught buying a $20 'tinnie'.

Kearns left the house with two females ten minutes later and was swooped on by police.

A warrantless search of his house was conducted by police under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.

In his bedroom wardrobe, a black backpack was found hiding a cut down single barrel sawn-off shotgun measuring 52cm in length.

Kearns is not the holder of a firearms licence.

Also in the wardrobe, was a 20 litre plastic bucket containing nine snap lock bags of "good quality dried cannabis head" weighing approximately 249 grams.

A large supermarket bag was also in the bucket with a further 174 grams of similar quality cannabis, which had not been packaged for sale.

In explanation, Kearns admitted joint custody of the firearm, stating he had it for his own safety. He owned up to selling the cannabis, the summary says.

Police are seeking forfeiture of $5490 in cash found in Kearns' possession after his arrest.

Judge Jane Farish remanded him on continued bail for sentence on April 17.

She called for reports to consider an electronically-monitored sentence but warned that was no guarantee he would not receive a jail term.

In November, Kearns - who testified against his mum in her murder trial last year - won $55,000 from Milner after she framed him and put him behind bars.

Milner admitted perverting the course of justice and was jailed for two years and eight months when she sent herself death threats and claimed they were from her son.

Kearns was arrested and spent 18 days in custody - including his 19th birthday - while it's alleged that police took 13 days to carry out a search warrant which would eventually clear his name.

He has also launched legal action against police for allegedly failing to properly investigate his case.

Milner is currently serving a life term with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years for the murder of second husband Phil Nisbet in 2009.

She has lodged an appeal against her conviction at the Supreme Court.

- Kurt Bayer of NZME. News Service

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