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Thu 16th January 2014

Murder suicide of Edward Livingstone

Filed under: General — Downunder @ 7:05 am

In unfolding news from Dunedin

More here.

The Armed Offenders Squad was deployed and while clearing the address discovered the bodies of a 51-year-old Milton man and of two children, a 9-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl.

The man (possibly the father) is believed to be a Corrections Department employee.

Police said they were not looking for anyone further in relation to the incident.

In an update from police

The children lived at the address with their 49-year-old mother. The mother was at the address at the time the incident occurred.

The exact relationship between her and the 51-year-old man is yet to be determined.

Developing story from the Herald

The Herald has learned that the 51-year-old man breached protection orders at least twice last year.

The particulars of those orders including who he was prohibited from contacting and why are unclear at this stage.

However he appeared in the Dunedin District Court on at least two occasions.

It appears that the deceased father is Edward Livingstone. If you know Edward and have any information about the circumstances he was facing prior to his death contact me at downunder@outlook.co.nz

Further information from Police

The two reported breaches of protection orders were by way of phone contact in August and September 2013, and Edward was put before the courts as a result of these breaches.

From his employer

Edward Livingstone was given a final warning after twice advising his employer last year that he had breached a protection order


Disclosed documents reveal Livingston was on medication

He had seen a psychiatrist following the incident, he said, “who changed the medication [he was] receiving” to make him more stable.

158 Responses to “Murder suicide of Edward Livingstone”

  1. Allan Harvey says:

    A terrible tragedy.
    However should we be surprised?
    Corrections staff often have relationship difficulties; Shift work, remote location (Milton is about 70kms from Port Chalmers), dehumanising isolation from normal human interactions, low pay.
    Maybe mum moved after separation with the children to the far side of Dunedin?
    Maybe dad took a job 70kms away from the family because the distress of separation was too difficult?
    In either situation what support for dad??
    My experience of prison staff is that their dealing with inmates are deliberately kept aloof and this often even applies to fellow staff working in the prison. Many corrections staff feel extremely isolated and poorly supported during separations. If Protection Orders are involved officers are often stood down and are always so when there are allegations of a breach.
    This poor chap will be personally vilified but in many ways we set up our society to fail him, his kids, his ex and wider family. Despite 20 years of rhetoric, the Bristol inquiry, the DV Act, thousands of words, Women’s refuges in most locations and dollars galore these tragedies continue.
    Until we as a society can offer real support to both men and women after separations I fear for our children.
    I know I’m doing my bit but overall the support for families under stress is minimal.

  2. Totally agree with you, Alan , most guys find out there is little to jack support for men who feel there is only one way out and sadly 2 innocent kids lost their lives.
    I am sure there will be more info to come out of this tragedy,

  3. A man at the centre of a triple shooting was known to police and had breached court protection orders.
    The estranged couple are believed to be Edward Hamilton Livingstone and Katharine Livingstone.
    They are listed as owners of the Kiwi St house where the incident occurred and public records show Mrs Livingstone as the occupier of the address.

    Okay so , heres a big F.U to protection orders from the Family court as usual , they will never stop people from doing this and in fact only seek to make things much much worse as they are used by women in particular to stay in the “family” home and screw the other party out of everything alongside the whole crap biased legal system in NZ.

    Good on ya Family court whats 2 innocent lives worth.
    Yes he pulled the trigger , yes its his fault , but yes 2 kids are dead and will never come back.

  4. Downunder says:

    @dominic – where did you pick the names up from?

  5. they just released them on NZ herald on line :)

  6. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Good comments Alan. We have murder suicides by Bristol (father), Perkin (mother) and now add Livingstone (father) to the list. The list is guaranteed to get longer so long as the current government policy of fostering inequality between separated parents for political gain continues.

    The result of this latest tragedy will be much discussion of Bristol and Livingstone, but will Perkin be mentioned, hardly? This new murder incident will result in more marginalisation of fathers, and help set the stage for the next tragedy.

    This is a prime example of government public policy failure, which instead of leading to better public policy, is used instead as justification for more draconian public policy that will foster the next tragedy.

    The publicity campaign has already started, the father is described in the media as “a real weirdo and an oddball”. Should I predict what the eulogy’s on the mother will sound like?

    Details of the Perkins murder suicide at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=153775

  7. Downunder says:

    Protection orders are not necessarily the best way to deal with any particular situation. In some cases they may well be the catalyst for circumstances to end as they have above.

    At age 51 years with two children aged 6 and 9, was this man a late starter or was this second time around with a family?

    Does he have other children that grew up without him?

    What might his child support situation have been?

    Did he have a big legal bill to pay?

    Who did he spend Xmas with?

    I am surprised the media has resisted going straight to Woman’s refuge for comment – that makes a change.

    Soon enough we’ll hear someone from Woman’s Refuge calling for tougher enforcement in Family Court cases – but let’s remember every protection order has a Family Court case.

    Let’s hope we see some good investigative journalism to find out more about what was going on in the background to push this man over the edge.

  8. Allan Harvey says:

    Downunder and others,

    Whatever pushed this mans buttons there was a major lapse in his thinking in going to this home with a weapon, knowing his children were there. None of that thinking was smart. It was all in breach of the order against him. I give him the benefit of not having planned what happened but he did bring together to one place, the weapon, his children and his grief which was extremely unwise.

    Protection Orders are just a piece of paper. The blue army that police the paperwork don’t have any magic shields they just react after the fact. Heather Henare (Womens Refuge)talks the same lack of logic as Sensible Sentencing when she says harder sentences and deterrence. Buckets of research show this to be nonsense and of no effect. This poor chap didn’t think any further than “I’m next” when he pulled the trigger on his two beautiful children. What we need is community people and groups to help BOTH parents in these difficult circumstances. It is people and support that are more effective than pieces of paper!!

  9. Downunder says:

    @Allan Harvey What ever pushed him over the edge happened long before he went to his ‘home’ with a gun.

    Thinking is a calm, rational, considerate, process or a result of a belief.

    You can’t say that a man is ‘thinking’ when he takes a gun to his former home where his children and their mother are.

    The question for me is what put this guy over the edge and when he went over the edge – when did he stop thinking and why?

  10. Dylan says:

    It’s obvious from the resulting murders that the protection order was legitimate. This guy took a gun and blew away not one, but two, children. There’s no point harping about it being anyone else’s fault – he threathen, then he acted, and he succeeded in ending two valuable lives.

  11. storm13 says:

    ;-( This is a massive blow not only for NZ society, but especially each and every one of us in tangled in hells cob web called family law!!

  12. Downunder says:

    It’s obvious from the resulting murders that the protection order was legitimate.

    Was he in court and realised that it wasn’t a court, that he was being processed, the same as the prisoners he dealt with.

    A donkey on the edge is totally responsible for his own behaviour, yeah right.

  13. nzleagle says:

    Today is a sad sad day, not only did two children loose their lives unnecessarily, but also a Man who has probably been struggling with issues for a long time before this came to a head.

    Unfortunately we will probably never hear the full story, yes there is a chance that the protection orders were there for a real reason, but for someone to go to this extream I would say the protection orders were made from false accusations, the times he breached the protection order he may of been “baited”.

  14. storm13 says:

    ;-( This is a massive blow not only for NZ society, but especially each and every one of us intangled in hells web called family law!!Maybe if he too had found MENZ he may have seen a different light.

  15. JohnPotter says:

    A press release from Woman’s Refuge appeared on my Facebook page mid-afternoon:

    Many would have heard about yet another murder in NZ overnight, please read our statement, a news item is attached.
    Women’s Refuge Statement about Tragic Murders In Dunedin –
    Last night’s murder of two children by a violent man who had a protection order against him is a tragic reminder of how much more we must do as a society to address domestic and family violence in New Zealand says Heather Henare, Chief Executive of Women’s Refuge.
    “We need to concentrate on the fact that there is a link between breaches of protection orders and domestic violence murders in this country,” she says, “people who threaten to kill should be treated in the most high risk category with strong consequences.”
    “This man had a violent track record, two breaches of a protection order and all breaches of protection orders should be treated with the full force of our law. This tragic incident is the worst kind of wake up call for this country around the severity and frequency of domestic and family violence in our communities, says Ms Henare.
    Media: Sue Lytollis 027 322 4688 sue@refuge.org.nz

    I have counselled many fathers who have just been served a protection order; I have often been shocked by how irrational (even deranged) their thinking is when under so much emotional stress.

    While this guy is the only one responsible for his actions, the system has clearly failed to protect the two unfortunate children in this case.

  16. Downunder says:

    If a person has a belief in the afterlife but believes that this life offers nothing more for him and no life for his children, is it rational thinking for an irrational mind that if they all leave they are better off.

    Is this a perverse encounter with the protector and provider?

  17. Dylan says:

    Blowing two small children away with a shotgun is a violent and messy act. It is not the actions of a protector or provider.

  18. Another tragic result of the Family Court System. It is going to take a lot to get this system to be fair to the Children as much as the parents. It is a real form of grief and unfairness when people are torn apart from each other. Very sad. unfortunately as some have said already some will use this tragic event for their own means. May they now” Rest In Peace”. I pray that the Justice system amongst lawyers,women’s refuge, counsellors,judges, barristers,mediators,government and the rest on the band wagon take a good look at themselves and the system THEY have created and make a start on sorting it out. Top of the list should be listening to those who have “Been there and Done that” and make everyone’s negative experience turn into a real positive one for our Country so that we take the lead and learn for the future of our beautiful families as this is happening all over the world.

  19. Delia says:

    Well it is a funny kind to love to shoot your children. A mother cares daily for her children and hides her fears and pretends to the children that everything is OK. Dad and her are sorting things out, things are fine…but she knows worse. She knows he is deteriorating and that his anger is building . Anger is really grief, powerlessness and hurt feelings. She has done her best to sooth troubled waters, but he gives her no rest. He must get back with her and the children…and the irrational thoughts begin to plan. He goes to the house and does the unspeakable. He blames her for not staying with him. He knows what she really loves, not him, it is the kids. So he shoots them dead. It is hard, but what else can he do ,there is no changing her mind. His wife knows the worse has now happened, sweating night after night pretending it is ok, but it is not. She wonders why did I marry him, this is hell, it is no one faults, but we are living in hell. She knows he is gone and so are the two children that she invested so much in. The marriage she and he invested in as well. Murdered by the father who made them with her. He thinks that will get her…but the kids are dead on the floor, so is he and she is now living in a world that does not matter anymore, despite what her family tell her. His family wander in shock, they understand and they don’t. Just another point of view guys.

  20. Bruce Tichbon says:

    FAMILIES APART REQUIRE EQUALITY (FARE)
    Palmerston North, New Zealand; Tel 06 357 1901
    Mobile 027 437 9050, E-mail: bruce.tichbon@gmail.com
    17 January 2014: For immediate release.
    MEDIA RELEASE

    Family Court Has Blood On Its Hands – Yet Again!

    “The Family Court has been a major contributor to a succession of child murders in New Zealand over recent years”, Bruce Tichbon, spokesperson for Families Apart Require Equality (FARE), stated today.
    “As a nation we are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Dunedin this week of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone, and their father Edward Livingstone. The Dunedin children were just nine and six years old respectively.
    Yet there has been a sickening succession of such incidents in New Zealand in recent years. In 2000 in Nelson, Alice, Maria and Cherie Perkin, were murdered by their mother, Rosemary Perkin, who also killed herself. The Nelson girls were just eight, six and 23 months old respectively. In 1995 Tiffany, Holly and Claudia Bristol were murdered by their father, who also killed himself at the same time during acrimonious litigation. The Bristol children were just nine, five and two when they died.
    The Livingstone, Perkin and Bristol children were young, healthy, and in the prime of life, till they died at the hands of one of their parents who was locked in a destructive Court battle.
    In these cases the problem is the Family Court system, which almost invariably encourages separating parents to compete with each other in a winner-takes-all battle to have control of the children. It is the custodial parent who will get effective ownership and control of the children, and all the benefits that come with them. The Family Court imposes a win-lose outcome. In this environment parents are driven to fight over the most precious thing in their lives, their children.
    Parents become so desperate they become irrational, and faced with potentially losing their children (or control of their children), the parents can and are driven to the extreme of murdering themselves, and their children.
    The Family Court urgently needs to change its procedures to prevent more children dying in this way. In the USA, and many other countries, a far better system known as ’shared parenting’ has been adopted.
    Instead of the parents being forced to compete with each other to be the ‘winner’ or sole physical custodian of the children, they are both made physical custodians. The parents are encouraged to work together instead of competing with each other. If one parent is uncooperative, they stand to have the Court remove their joint custodial status. Thus, instead of parents being forced to fight, they are encouraged to cooperate.
    The benefits of shared parenting are dramatic. The number of ongoing court cases is halved, as arguing between parents is greatly reduced.
    The divorce rate is dramatically reduced, as is the uptake of social welfare benefits. The only negative outcome is reduced earnings for lawyers, psychologists and others who profit from the suffering endured by children caused by the current regime.
    Under current New Zealand family law the Family Court could more often exercise effective shared parenting, but the Judges for some inexplicable reason will not consider shared parenting as the preferred outcome to protect the welfare of children. In 2000, MP Muriel Newman introduced a Private Member’s Bill that aimed to reduce the tensions between parents by favoring the shared parenting model that has been so successful overseas. The Government rejected Newman’s Bill outright, and would not even allow it to go to a select committee.
    In Dunedin this week children died once again because the Family Court, and the Government, are not fulfilling their responsibilities to the community, and refuse to use up-to-date and non-adversarial techniques to resolve child custody and access disputes. The Family Court is breaking the fundamental principles of the laws it is supposed to administer by consistently not acting in the best interests of children.
    FARE calls on the Principal Family Court Judge, and the Government, to publicly state what they are doing to eliminate the tensions between divorcing parents and reduce the risk of this latest tragedy in Dunedin being repeated yet again, and again, which will most certainly happen again if nothing is done”, concluded Tichbon.
    Enquiries to Bruce Tichbon Mob 027 437 9050

  21. Downunder says:

    The same bill even corrupted parliament itself.

    It was a member’s ballot bill and after it was thrown out by the house Muriel Newman MP (elected representative) put it back into the box and as her luck would have it, it was drawn out again.

    It should of gone back to the house for another debate, but it didn’t because Richard Prebble (then leader of the Act party) wouldn’t let it happen.

    If Richard Prebble hadn’t interfered with the democratic process, who knows what might have happened in the second debate.

  22. Downunder says:

    If this father instead of shooting his children had gone off and shot himself, this would have all gone unnoticed, another suicide. How much – if any of the circumstances that affected his life – would have been presented to the coroner.

    Now as an individual living within the system he is without his home (be that an asset or not), without his family, and on his last warning at his place of employment.

    I don’t imagine a Correction’s administrative job pays well, and now paying child support.

    He has to re-house himself, survive on a reduced income which may not have even covered more than accommodation, food and transport to work – he may have been going backwards into debt.

    Did this father simply plot revenge? Is that the nasty side of human nature.

    Would a woman do the same thing in the same circumstances. Kill her children to get back at her husband.

    As fate would have it, on the same day in another part of the world exactly that …

    Frantic call to the Police

    On a frantic 911, the father-of-two can be heard telling a dispatcher, “My ex-wife said she was going to harm the kids and that I should get over there ASAP,” as he hurriedly drove home.

    But tragically, Mr Berman arrived home too late.

    Moments after arriving at the home, he found the bodies of his two children Alex, 16, and Jacqueline, 15, lying next to the body of his ex-wife, Jennifer.

    All three had been shot to death.

    Interesting comment in the middle of the article …

    Family friend Brian McManus told the New York Post that Jennifer had recently been “going through a lot of stuff”.

    “Going through a divorce, foreclosure, a lot of stuff which, it’s an upsetting thing,” said McManus.

  23. Downunder says:

    Herald update

    Livingstone told friends as early as last August of his plan to murder his children and then take his own life after becoming “consumed with revenge” after breaking up with his wife Katharine Webb, APNZ has been told.

    After he told friends a complaint was laid with police.

    But the complainant said she was never interviewed, and police didn’t follow up.

    The source said Livingstone showed up at Kiwi St in the suburb of St Leonards on Wednesday night with a petrol canister.

    His plan was foiled when Ms Webb ran next door to try to get friend Chris Foot to talk him down.

  24. You are forced to fight by the court and the lawyers for what is already yours or yours to share sensibly.

    family’s and kids lives wasted time and time again.

    The government doesn’t give a stuff.
    The courts are useless as ashtrays on motorcycles.
    The lawyers (or most of them) suck harder than a 747
    The police are only there to arrest people

    No surprizes then really is it, who ever said this will happen time and time again is completely correct, how many lives , who knows.

    Sooner or later people are going to get the idea that the family court system in NZ is completely wrong.

  25. Allan Harvey says:

    I don’t think any of us know what “plan” this man had. He was not well, even if that was not clear earlier it is self-evident now. Unfortunately he was not able to access the support that he, his children and his ex would have benefited from.
    The sad part of what we do know is that Ed Livingstone shared his delusional thinking with “friends” and they either didn’t or were unable to help him. That work isn’t easy but it is part of being in a caring society. I think Chris and Mel Foot, the neighbours, demonstrate the support we all need and we all can provide to attempt to make our communities safer and more supportive. They cared for this family.
    The tragedy is that those Ed Livingstone shared with either dropped the ball or didn’t follow through. It isn’t easy and I’m sure at times Ed was hard to work with but that is the task needed to improve our communities and to attempt to avoid further tragedies of this kind.

  26. Skoot7 says:

    I was wondering if someone could help me understand a situation with regards to the family Law after the sad situation that took place in Dunedin the other day, of a murder-suicide situation. I for one don’t agree of what took place or fully understand what lead to the situation, but I get a little concerned when it comes down to the domestic situation and the Family Law. I believe that when the justice system deals with domestic issues involving children, they don’t consider the long term consequences between the father and the children. To this day(some 35-40 years), I’m still trying to bridge the gap(a very slow process), between myself and children, after the decision being made by the Family Court. During those years I never had any communication with my children, even though I was given access rights through the court system. When I tried to exercise my access rights, the children’s mother and children went into hiding or just not there. All this time I was paying maintenance. I went to court 15 times in 7 years to try and rectify the situation only to told finally by the judge that the Access Order wasn’t worth the paper that it was written on and then went on to explain an example. To me there are Court Orders for women which is law and Court Orders for men which mean nothing. It also goes for such things as Protection Orders. Once a Protection Order is in place, taken out by the mother of the children, it then covers the children as well. This being that the father is allowed no contact with the children, no letters, birthday cards, Christmas cards, presents of any kind or even phone calls. In my situation, our (I repeat “OUR”) children were turned against their father. The reason that I stress “OUR” is because some organizations forget that it takes a mother and father to bring children into this world. My situation is now over except I am still in the process of trying to patch up the damage done to the children and myself, by the Family Court all those years ago. Once again, I don’t condone what took place in Dunedin, or know what triggered the event except to those with the pressures that I was placed under during my domestic break up, would also be faced with extreme pressure. I believe that I could write a book about my experiences that I had to go through and still faced with, with regards to a Family Court decisions, with protection Orders, Access Orders, etc. I was often found sitting in a corner of a room in tears not having access to the children. Often when issues happen as did in Dunedin, the authorities and other organizations address the surface issues instead of the deep seated issues. I believe that there are places for such orders as Protection Orders, and Access Orders but not solely on a gender decision. Children need both a Mum and a Dad. Been there, done that !!!

  27. Downunder says:

    @Skoot7 You just started writing your book. Don’t stop writing – write a bit every day about what happened to you and before long you’ll have your first chapter.

  28. Julie says:

    I have been wondering why ‘no’ men here discuss the diaries the Family Court is making separated parents write in so each is communicating with the other (working together) and each is being encouraged to be involved in parenting AND how psychologists ask for photos of the other parent to be present in each home so the children can look at mum and dad when missing them AND the wrap-around-service families have when considered ‘at risk’ which includes families involved with CYF and the Criminal AND Family Court.

    Speakers presenting at Universities who are involved in the wrap-around-services for the Family Court say they know what they want to happen in the FC but they aren’t sure how the process will work. I reckon they will jump into action now, because of this tragedy.

    ………..

    All processes are ‘wrap-around’ now…… everything available is part of it…. health (doctors, nurses, hospital social workers, midwives), education (teachers, school counsellors, school social workers, truancy officers, kindy teachers, early childhood educators)….. CYF, WINZ, foodbanks…. plunket, barnodoes, psychologists, lawyers, and on and on.

    One single mother told me how one organisation told her 9 year old daughter to strip, turn around slowly and say where she got every bump and bruise from when mum sought assistance for she felt her daughter has a learning difficulty. Parents aren’t allowed to be present and her daughter felt scared and humiliated. Other parents are reporting similar when taking their children to hospital or even their local GP where nurses pull the children aside to inspect them (not all have the time). Parents are saying they are scrutinised for hours when they enter a hospital. They can go in at 8am and still be there at 8pm answering questions.

    …………..

    The people involved in the wrap-around will say, “This family fell through the cracks. Fix the crack.” My guess is that they will want to thoroughly investigate every family involved with a protection order and have a team discuss them and judge the risks involved. Single parents are freaking as they are going over old Family Court cases to judge the risk factors in each family even though the family has moved on. They will have a list of red flags.

    In fact, because of human error, they have apps (made by vodafone, I heard) that send the family’s details to police, CYF or other when x amount of red flags show up. If people want to be left alone, they best not make an accusation in the family court, they best not involve the police, they best not even ask a foodbank for food as some of them send family details to CYF who come knocking on the door. I can confirm that the City Mission doesn’t send your details on to CYF.

    …………..

    The worst off group are white people because there’s no cultural sensitivity for you plus white children are the easiest to move, even overseas through the sex trade. I don’t know if the government has finalised their policies for overseas ‘home for life’ as people who want to adopt realise New Zealand is an easy target. Adoption takes years while ‘Home for Life’ is a few short meetings as an introduction to the process, then it’s wait, which can be as short as a week to a few months. Babies and young children can be name changed and overseas in 7 months from my experience with cases. Families can’t even get in front of a judge for at least a year and the process to prove your innocence takes at least 2 years, on average. Then there’s new law amendments stopping families from using the court system because you’ll upset the bonding between the people who got your children and your children.

    Oh, this is long enough. I am extremely sad this happened while extremely scared of the consequences.

  29. Downunder says:


    Disclosed documents reveal Livingston was on medication

    He had seen a psychiatrist following the incident, he said, “who changed the medication [he was] receiving” to make him more stable.

  30. Taken from the court papers
    His second breech of protection order was this,

    “That you phoned her and left a
    message is in direct contravention of the terms of the protection order. The
    content of the message, it is accepted, was not in any way threatening or
    intimidating, but rather you left a message apologising for your previous
    behaviour.
    You yourself do not have any previous convictions, although it is accepted by
    you and fully disclosed that earlier this year you were arrested in relation to
    breaching the protection order, but in relation to that matter were diverted.
    This, therefore, is your second breach of the protection order this year”

    https://zen.nzherald.co.nz/media/webcontent/document/pdf/20143/lingstonejudgement.pdf

  31. golfa says:

    #26 Skoot7. There is already a book written by Adam Cowie. If you click on the link below and go to post 13, you will see that you can buy the book as a book or as an eBook.
    http://menz.org.nz/2011/separated-with-children-by-adam-cowie-book-review/

  32. MurrayBacon says:

    What is presently happening in familycaught$ under DV Act is far outside what was intended by Parliament, when it passed the DV Act. Read Hansard in submission.

    Fathers are routinely being denied access with their children for far longer periods, than the maximum set by Parliament in DV Act. When supervised access is eventually allowed, it is often under demeaning conditions. In essence, this is relationship vandalism. I have heard this complaint from both mothers and fathers.

    It is true that we don’t support parents through the stresses of young married life. We decry accepting help.

    More to the point, why put needless stresses onto parents? [screw money out of parents!]

    POs are handed out by familycaught in a completely casual and unprofessional manner. This is so gross, that it is visible in national PO statistics. They are tools of legal manipulation, not tools to protect children.

    Children would be better protected if agreement on a new parenting plan was required, before children could be removed from a marital home. This would protect children from lawyer’s dishonest games and women’s unilateral manipulations.

    John said:

    While this guy is the only one responsible for his actions, the system has clearly failed to protect the two unfortunate children in this case.

    I disagree that this guy is the only one responsible for the outcome. Lots of people played an active and culpable role, lets look carefully through all of these and learn how to behave better.

    Lets talk responsibility:

    The mother may have contributed to her children’s deaths by putting in an exaggerated or even downright false application into familycaught$. If so, then would her children be alive if she hadn’t done this?

    The familycaught$ likely (99% inferred according to their own statistics) issued the PO without professionally checking on the facts of the situation. If they had not done that, would the children be alive today?

    Like Air NZ blaming the dead pilot for crashing their plane onto Mount Erebus (after they programmed it to fly into the mountain), are we forgetting the other elements in the chain of events, that were necessary to achieve the deaths of three people?

    Are we conveniently forgetting the huge responsibility lying on the shoulders of still living people?

    Are we allowing the spinele$$ familycaught$ judge to slink quietly and cowardly away?

    I am not criticising the police or friends for failing to act, even after warnings. There are so many warnings and so few of them come to any damage at all, let alone deaths.

    I am criticising the actors who made the decisions leading directly to the deaths of these children and father.

    Lets get real – if on many previous occasions access denied parents have suicided or lashed out in violence – then if we put further parents unnecessarily into this situation, we must take responsibility for our actions.

    Is denial of access a natural part of good parenting? I cannot see that it is. Why are we doing it so often?

    Should parents be tested to breaking point, far past what most parents ever experience?
    That is in the same league as dunking witches in the river, if they live they are witches and burned at stake, if they drown, well too bad!

    Testing parents under insane levels of stress and then saying that they have failed, may appear workable to legal workers, but it would have no place in a real Family Court. It occurs only to fill the vacuum of skills in familycaught$.

    If parents go a bit stir crazy on denial of access, what is the effect on children? We might try to sweep this issue under the carpet, but if we care to look at the consequences, it includes suicides and outward directed violence by children too. Why do we do this to children so often?

    Why do we create the situations when it isn’t necessary?

    Quality jurisprudence is based on weighing evidence first and proportionality.

    Usually, we see neither of these in familycaught$.

    We should consider putting the Care of Children Act into operation. Although this would cost legal workers quite a lot of income, it would save children and parents a huge amount of suffering, unnecessary suffering.

    We cannot afford the familycaught$ irresponsibility, or its costs.

    Lets save our children and wasted taxpayer funds. Submission to replace familycaught$

    Women’s Refuge make a song and dance about breaching POs. Telephone calls? They don’t call them telephone calls. Direct, honest, immediate communication could have been arranged, it would have been cheaper than a single funeral!

    Instead of sighing and sighing and sighing, lets make sensible changes back to how the law was before DV Act.

    Research available well before DV Act was passed warned that it was likely to create as many deaths as it saved. This is now proven by NZ statistics. We are very slow to learn the lesson from this dangerous experiment with millions of peoples lives.

    We can aim for a better system, so lets look carefully at what works and what doesn’t work and set legislation to work constructively in the real world.

    The first place to start, is prosecuting the perpetrators of these children’s and father’s deaths.

    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  33. Julie says:

    Dear Axe murderer, lol

    Lets get real – if on many previous occasions access denied parents have suicided or lashed out in violence – then if we put further parents unnecessarily into this situation, we must take responsibility for our actions.

    CYF and the Family Court would say, “Our job is to care for the children”. And they are right.

    Our justice system is a punishing system. Perhaps instead of locking people up, we should train our police, judges, Cyf workers, prison guards, etc, to be counsellors, then when they come across someone angry beating up another or destroying property, they can sit down with them and say, “Now sir, what’s the matter? Why are you angry? Let’s talk about your feelings.”

    Maybe one day.

  34. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Julie, our newspapers document only a small proportion of parental suicides. To face these issues square on, we need to look at the total numbers.

    Bruce #6 above has a link to the NZ Herald article about Rosemary Perkins, who asphyxiated her children and suicided using tablets.

    Downunder #22 has linked to a USA mother suicide, after divorce and severe financial problems for both parents.

    USA non-custodial mother suicides after months of denied access
    Juliette Gilbert a/k/a The Fugitive Mom
    Victims of Violence blog

    With some thought, many similar examples come to mind. Many, many similar examples don’t come to mind, because profit media were never told, or they didn’t see the story as selling advertising or copies. Many examples are hidden in car accidents, industrial accidents, psychiatric suicides or deaths due to illnesses not treated.

    If we applied only sensible, relevant, constructive pressures, these children would have both of their parents.

    You try to separate issues of dealing for children and dealing for parents. In my opinion, this is the rhetoric of legal workers, trying to sell their valueless, worthless and dangerous family invoicing to death services.

    I agree that protection of children should be carefully at the forefront, when making decisions about smashing up families.

    To a substantial degree, if the interests of the children are to be protected, then parents have little choice but to respect each other, avoid damaging each other’s position (financially and relationship wise) and to work together to bring up the children.

    NZ has been trying to live in a fool’s paradise, by putting out the image that after a breakup, mothers and fathers can expect to maintain their standard of living, maybe with a DPB topup.

    Two households is never going to cost less for two parents, who is kidding who?

    If our society gives financial short term incentives for women to take the children and run, this is never going to promote the children’s actual best interests!

    It may promote legal worker’s financial best interests, but rarely if ever children’s.

    The familycaught$ may pander$ to mother$ de$ire$, to break up their family.
    In no way at all, is this protecting children’s interests!!!!

    familycaught$ rules and legislation promote consideration of reconciliation and good faith negotiation. These would go a long way to protecting children’s interests, if they were ever followed. Sure, some lawyers do follow these rules, but there is enough cheating on these rules, that they may as well not even be there at all.

    Perhaps the largest single flaw of the rules and legislation, is allowing one parent to remove children unilaterally from the marital home.

    The familycaught$ could disincentivise this, but it chooses not to and milks the mayhem for all it is worth.

    When we allow familycaught$ to get away with these simple, clear breaches of law, we are as culpable as these legal thieves and clowns. They are selling short term perceived gains to women who use perjury, but are are just pillaging these families long term wealth. They take advantage of psychiatric problems in families and use this cover to milk them dry.

    To get the familycaught$ to respect and serve families, can only come about when they have incentives to serve, by customers choosing which judge they wish to employ and pay. Judges lacking in skills, will soon turn to other work, to keep food on their tables. This would then give far better protection for children and parents, from familycaught$ legal workers.

    Given limited resources of each family, parent’s interests can only be met by respecting each other. Children’s interests can only be protected, by encouraging (in essence forcing) parents to cooperate and respect each other.

    To protect children, we need a familycaught$ that does work to protect and serve family relationships, not just for milking them dry. The knowledge is all around us, but we just aren’t doing it.

    Protecting children’s interests, also requires respecting both parent’s interests, not trampling on them. Children’s best interests are served almost always, by having two alive, healthy, not-robbed parents.

    This is already set out in the judicial oath!

  35. Alastair says:

    Simon Collins (NZ Herald) Provides the voice of reason.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11188259

    Men are NOT the villans they are made out to be!

    The saddest part to me following the overall dialogue is the recurrance of the same names (Apologists for the female movement) and the same areas, (South Auckland, Tauranga, and Christchurch)

  36. Dylan says:

    The family court did not kill these children. Their father did. The children’s mother did not kill these children. The father did. There were multiple mechanisms for support put in place for him, but nothing substantive put in place to protect the mother and children. The systemic failure was in a failure to adequately protect potential (and now actual) victims. Stop blaming everyone but the person who, in a premeditated act of violence that indicates the ability to systematically plan and methodically conduct a heinous act of violence, murdered two innocent children.

  37. MurrayBacon says:

    Men ARE the villains they are made out to be! But so too are women.

    We need to be more openly offering support to young parents and all people with some degree of mental health issues. Support services are slowly being given more resources, to allow them to help.

    Simon Collins has written a long and careful article, covering the breadth of this sad topic. It is only by this open minded approach, that we can improve the services in our community.

  38. Alastair says:

    The real problem is not the paramouncy clause (The Best interests of the Child are Paramount) But the courts Slavish, rigid, and literal, application of it. As I type this I sit in a house where the marriage failed last year. The Father with support of family and friends is nurturing the children well. while continuing full time employment. Needless to say courts and other agencies are NOT involved. (It’s why I am here!)

    Many years ago a wise man told me tht in any seperation +/- 6 months both parties could exibit such behaviours as to be legally adjudged insane! IMHO the best way to deal is family and friends. Drugs will never be an answer!

  39. Alastair says:

    Dylan, If there were to have been a reasonably close family around the perpetratou in this instance do you feel that there may have been some differences? – I do! Sorry for disjointed pieces, I’m tending children at the same time!

  40. Allan Harvey says:

    It takes a village to protect children in my view.
    You describe the ideal solution above Alastair.
    We used to call such support grandparents, or uncles and aunties and in pre-industrial times these people were our next door neighbours. These days we need to foster new relationships that replace these other significant adults in the lives of young families.
    These children who have been murdered were supported by a small village (mum, neighbours, mum’s parents = kid’s grandparents in the same town, a school community, a sporting interest in orienteering etc). Dad was expelled from this village (possibly because his own actions made him hard to cope with) and he entered a void and new community 70kms away. He had a job but it didn’t provide him with the mates he needed to keep himself and his children safe. He had family who lived in Australia and he last saw three years ago and last had telephone contact with on his birthday 2 months ago. He sought community and companionship on-line and did find a woman friend who lived in Christchurch. That gave him some joy and new hope but it probably also exacerbated for him the loss of his other significant intimate relationship. The 4-5 hours travel between himself and his new friend highlighted for him the distance growing between himself and his children and made his expulsion from the St Leonards community seem even more real and raw to him.
    Unfortunately it is a story I hear too frequently.
    Dylan you are right, the Family Court didn’t pull the trigger on these two children and their father, neither did mum BUT there was also no one close getting alongside this man and helping him put the gun down until after he had made a terrible choice and already fired two shots.
    He let people know his deranged thinking, he attended the course, he had professional support from his lawyer BUT all these people failed him and his children. Yes he needs to be accountable for his action BUT we need to make sure we all do our part to ensure that we are prepared to do our bit to ensure we form part of the village to support other families, children, mums and dads to help others in situations that can turn difficult and tragic if we don’t do our bit.
    The message I take from this tragedy is that we all need to follow Alastair’s example and be there when families in stress need us. We need to know who is our neighbour and be a person who can listen to them.
    No matter how sad, hurt or insane people are we can all be a listening ear.
    That is the kind of village I want to see us create.
    Pity Ed Livingstone hadn’t found MENZ and could have gained some support here. If he had done maybe this tragedy could have been avoided. Lets all commit to supporting one another, and the Ed’s who walk among us, as a way of remembering three lives lost and many others left in grief.

  41. Ted says:

    The family court did not kill these children. Their father did.

    That’s right.

    A useful question to ask is to what extent did the family court contribute to the situation. After all, they are the ones with the power – more powerful than Edward Livingstone, anyway. Having power means that, inescapably, they have responsibility too.

    Or don’t you think?

  42. Allan Harvey says:

    Dylan post 35
    There was plenty of support for mum. She had support from Women’s refuge, she had her home red-flagged by the Police, the Court had funded a course for her and her children on keeping themselves safe. Her employer (WINZ) was supportive, the school community held these children and their mum close, the neighbours held the family close. Unfortunately Ed Livingstone was difficult to help. He was seeing a psychiatrist, his employer had funded some counselling for him, he had a lawyer for the criminal court matters, he had a family court lawyer, Judge Stephen Coyle (with extensive Family Court experience) saw good and potential for change in him just months earlier.
    We don’t yet know what had happened over Christmas and New Year for Ed. Ed worked at the property office at Otago Prison. Probably there was less work to do over the last few weeks, perhaps he compared himself to the stories his colleagues had of family Christmas celebrations? We don’t know. What we can surmise is that on Wednesday 15 January Ed Livingstone felt so unsupported and without someone to talk to that he made a series of foolish choices. If he had been better supported then maybe this would not have happened.
    One thing I do know is that nothing on Wednesday 15 January went through Ed’s mind like; “I better not get a gun as that may result in a prison term for me and I know all about prison as I work there.” He possibly did think, “If I show Katharine how much I care she may take me back?” Perhaps he thought, “If I can’t have contact with my children then she isn’t going to either.” We don’t know but isn’t it really sad that Ed didn’t have a friend who he could have talked to last Wednesday morning. He needed support, his two children needed support. Lets all commit to being available to talk with the next Ed, or Edwina, who needs to talk.

  43. Allan Harvey says:

    Sorry Ted I think you talk nonsense saying the Family Court have power. They only have power when Ed and/or his wife give over their power as parents to the Court. 95% of couples who separate don’t get stuck in Family Court. The Court has no power over their lives or the lives of their children.
    I don’t think the Family Court contributed to this situation but the lack of support for Ed certainly did. The Family Court is one avenue of obtaining support but lets face it only 0.00001% or less find it supportive. Even Court judges would agree 99.99999% of litigants and their families would be much much better sorting matters outside of the Court.
    However when couples can’t agree then the Court is necessary and in those situations the decisions they produce are good for children as they are a decision, be it right or wrong. Part of being a supportive community is to talk people out of going to Court and I say that even though I’m there most weeks.

  44. Downunder says:

    One of the news reports I read said that Ed, as far back as last August, had made a statement to a friend that he would kill his children and burn the house down.

    Saying that out load was taken seriously and reported to the Police.

    A lot could have happened and probably did between then and January but surely if there was a critical point at which he could have been helped, it was then.

    What did happen at that point could be interesting to look back on for some productive answers.

    What would you have done?
    What could have been done differently?

  45. Ted says:

    They only have power when Ed and/or his wife give over their power as parents to the Court.

    When he left a message on her phone saying he was sorry, something dragged him into real court, with possibly real consequences. That’s power.

  46. Allan Harvey says:

    Unfortunately the friend assumed that having spoken to the Police he could then ignore the warning and felt he had passed the concern to the “authorities”.
    Perhaps the dobbing in to the Police strained the friendship? Perhaps the “friend” felt unsafe.
    What needs to be different is we stick at being available, we ask questions (even difficult ones), we listen, we don’t reject people, we don’t assume someone else is going to do it.

  47. Allan Harvey says:

    Ted post 44
    How true. When families get stuck in Court they get real stuck. The secret is never go there, take every opportunity to exit when you can.

  48. Dylan says:

    “Dylan you are right, the Family Court didn’t pull the trigger on these two children and their father, neither did mum BUT there was also no one close getting alongside this man and helping him put the gun down until after he had made a terrible choice and already fired two shots.”

    This man had a loving family and friends who he had confided in. His workmates had provided support. He was being seen by a clinical practitioner … he was not alone. And even if he was alone … no one, ever, has the right to harm or take the life of a child. Ever. Ever.

    You ask do I think? Yes.

    I think, at times, I’ve walked alone.
    I think, at times, life has not been “fair” to me.
    I think, at times, I’ve lost battles, and at times, wars.

    But

    I know. I have never, ever considered it my right by abdication of responsibility or by any form of power vested, or investment in my own powerlessness, to harm a child. And I have never, ever done so.

    There is no excuse to harm a child. Let the adults, adult-up, and let’s be very sure not to make excuses that lay blame and “justify” such actions.

    Never, ever harm a child.

  49. Ted says:

    no one, ever, has the right to harm or take the life of a child. Ever. Ever.

    I think all the posters here seem to agree with that.

    I have never, ever considered it my right by abdication of responsibility or by any form of power vested, or investment in my own powerlessness, to harm a child. And I have never, ever done so.

    Nothing I have read here has accused you of that.

    Never, ever harm a child.

    Okay… but simply repeating that doesn’t help prevent the situation itself from repeating. In fact it can make things more dangerous because you are deflecting attention away from considering solutions. Our chances of getting to a solution that works are improved if we have a realistic assessment of the situation.

    Central to this is the position, effect, and actions of the Family Court. It should not be ignored.

    Justice system ‘not to blame’

    Updated at 10:33 pm on 17 January 2014

    The Law Society says the fatal shooting of two children in Dunedin is an extreme case for which the justice system can’t be blamed. Their father, Edward Livingstone, was being treated for mental health problems, court records show

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/233526/justice-system-%27not-to-blame%27

  50. Dylan says:

    “Central to this is the position, effect, and actions of the Family Court. It should not be ignored.”

    No, central to this issue is a man with a gun.

    And I never said anyone accused me.

    I’ll leave it at that. I think those who have guilt will want the blame for their past actions laid on the court, the mother, the family, friends etc.

    I’m advocating personal accountability – and it is worth repeating until the cows come in … never, ever harm a child. None of us has that right.

  51. Allan Harvey says:

    Personal accountability is no solution in this situation.
    There have been over 200 men, women and children killed in domestic violence situations in this country.
    This is a community issue. If we are going to protect children it needs us all to be both concerned and involved.
    Ignoring the issue, saying it is just personal responsibility is to allow tragedies to continue.
    We need to investigate and understand what we can from each tragedy and as a whole community be available to ensure it does not happen again.

  52. Ted says:

    central to this issue is a man with a gun

    No-one disputes that. The question is why it happened, and what can be done to prevent a repetition. The man is dead and beyond reach, but the factors that prompted him remain, and might be susceptible to being altered. They need to be correctly identified though. Repeating your mantra just takes attention away from the issue.

    And I never said anyone accused me.

    Sorry, you repeated it so much, accusation was all that stuck in my mind. Of course, no-one accused you.

    I’ll leave it at that.

    But you didn’t, did you? You went on, trying specifically to suggest an accusation yourself:

    I think those who have guilt will want the blame for their past actions laid on the court, the mother, the family, friends etc

    In my opinion, irresponsible attitudes like yours are a prime cause of the problem.

  53. Phil267 says:

    Is it me or does anyone else not view the article by Simon Collins mentioned in #34 and #36 biased. Dr Barnes appears to paint the filicide motivations of men and women very differently. She alludes that men are ‘bad’ with terms like ‘in spite’ and ‘possessiveness and control’ and women-as ‘mad’ believing those women see it as a suicide rather than murder and the children were viewed ‘as a part of themselves’ and ‘feared leaving them alone’. Dr Barnes uses snippets of a seemingly minority of notes to support her view. Would not seeing your children as a part of yourself and not as individual persons in their own right be seen as ‘possessiveness and control’. What I find is people interpret behaviour differently with women and men based on their pre-existing gender beliefs. Research shows that men and women do interpret the same behaviour as being more sinister when committed by men. For example at some training recently, I am a Social Worker (I am disillusioned with that profession also but have been able to make some positive changes), it was stated that boys play with toy cars and trucks because it is about control yet nothing was stated that girls play with dolls because it is a little ‘person’ whom they can control what they wear, their hairstyle, where that little person goes or not go, etc which are usual behaviours with controlling people.

    Men who have been denied access to their children have reported that it is more hurtful and devastating than the death of a loved or being informed they have a terminal cancer. Maybe it is more to do with that trauma than the very unkind interpretation of ‘possessiveness and control’. That man may have had good reason to call that woman ‘a bad mother’ and like the women mentioned had a ‘real fear’ for his children. Scientific research shows that men and women are violent towards each other for the same reasons so would need to examine more closely the statement about the women who killed their male partners being the ‘primary victim’. This differing interpretation of behaviour based on gender needs to be challenged in order to ensure a honest dialogue about these tragedies.

  54. triassic says:

    Judge Stephen Coyle had a problem with allowing a conviction of Livingstone….. If he lost his job how would he pay child support?

    Getting money from dad$ is THE most important thing to the FC and the kids paid the ultimate price for that.

  55. Man X Norton says:

    Phil267:
    I agree with you about Simon Collins’ article. From the outset he started quoting male-haters such as Jill Proudfoot from Shine. She claimed that threats of violence “are often what keeps women in relationships”. This claim will be based 98% on feminist ideology and 2% on poor-quality advocacy, self-report research designed for the propoaganda purposes. Think about relationships you have known and it will be evident that threats or acts of violence were more often the tipping point causing the threatened partner to end the relationship. Also, it has been much more common to find MEN remaining in demeaning relationships due to WOMEN’S threats such as “I will make sure you never see your children again”, ” I will take you to the cleaners” and “I will wreck your reputation, business and career”, but Ms Proudfoot of course didn’t think to mention that. However, she did bless us with ‘her impression’ that murder-suicides following separations happen “more often than we hear about in the paper”. Yeah right, news media shy away from telling us about murders! What transparent feminist fear-mongering from Ms Proudfoot! Why would an intelligent journalist parrot such nonsense without question?

    Simon Collins then momentarily started writing more sensibly, describing Australian research that showed men and women are equally as likely to kill children. But it didn’t last long. He soon felt compelled to focus on yet another feminist researcher from Waikato University (do they have degrees in Male-Hating?) who ‘found’ the reasons men kill were possessiveness and control while mothers who murder were much more well-intentioned. Yeah right.

    Then some from the ‘death-review committee’ headed by well-known man-hater Dr Julia Tolmie of Auckland University. They ‘found’ that “seven out of eight women who killed their male partners had actually been the “primary victims” of domestic violence in the relationship”. Well of course murderer women usually say that after the event when the accused is no longer around to reply! We all know that such claims are often unsupported by medical, police or other evidence and are also often disputed by those who knew the couple. The Death-Review Committee’s ideological bias soon became clear (although Simon Collins probably didn’t intend that) when it was noted that Dr Tolmie’s committee recommended various changes “to make sure women and children are safe”. Yeah right, children don’t need to be kept safe from female murderers because their murders are well-intentioned, and of course men’s need to be kept safe is a laughable idea completely (even though men are more often than women the victims of violence including homicide in NZ).

    Simon Collins ends with a final salvo announcing the incredible news that Ms Proudfoot’s organisation was given half a million dollars by government to change locks and otherwise more effectively shut men out of their own homes and families after women make allegations against them. What wasn’t mentioned was that the success attributed to this programme in keeping women safe may well have been due the the fact that such a small proportion of those accused men were ever likely to be violent at all. Hey government, how about directing a small fraction of what you give to anti-male hate speech organisations such as Shine, Women’s Refuge and White Ribbon instead towards male-supportive initiatives such as Paul Catton’s humble refuge for men? Not $1 of government money goes towards refuges for men and it’s appalling that half a million dollars is given to better ensure that men thrown out on the street stay there.

    Why would an intelligent jounalist like Simon Collins spread feminist lies and propaganda without challenge or skepticism? Approval from women? Editorial pressure? Who knows?

  56. Man X Norton says:

    From the Ministry of Men’s Affairs Facebook page:

    … The news coverage so far (based it seems mainly on the neighbours’ vitriol) has completely failed to answer the most important questions about this case: (i) On what basis was a protection order made initially? (ii) Was there any evidence apart from Mrs Livingstone’s (oh sorry, ‘Ms Webb’s) allegations that Mr Livingstone had been violent? (iii) What was happening with Mr Livingstone’s contact and relationship with his children as a result of the protection order and the demonization of him by Ms Webb? (iv) What were the most recent events leading up to this tragedy? (v) What other factors may have caused unnecessary suffering or provocation to this father?
    You can be sure the neighbours knew some of the answers to these questions but they clearly aren’t saying and/or anyone else who has tried to draw journalists’ attention to such matters has been ignored. It’s easier to wheel out feminist ‘patriarchal power and control’ and ‘a male murderer under every bed’ ideology that is not based on research or reality.

    …And none of the news coverage has asked the question ‘If a presumption of shared care were in place increasing Mr Livingstone’s emotional security concerning his relationship and parental role with his children, would this tragedy have been as likely to happen?’

    And while media reports have eagerly publicized anti-male hate speech from Women’s Refuge and ‘Stopping Violence Program’ providers (who fail to recognize the sinister violence of the forced ideological indoctrination they are perpetrating) and calls by other groups for protection-order breaches to be punished severely, none has sought any comment from men’s or fathers’ advocacy groups. And none has given so much as a skerrick of consideration about either the justice of harsh punishment for benign actions or the consequences of treating people unfairly. If men are to be imprisoned for polite, non-threatening communication about or with their own children, or for other normal actions like waving at their children when they wave whilst going by in a car, then we had better keep those men in jail indefinitely because otherwise we will see a lot more murders if they are released. Do these stupid feminists think the state can abuse its men without consequence? We will need to build a thousand more prisons to contain those men.

  57. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Downunder #21

    You make some interesting accusations against Richard Prebble. For the record, there were several attempted bills by Muriel Newman to reform NZ’s family law. They all attempting to make improvements that I am sure most people on this blog would agree with, and which could have potentially prevented the recent Livingstone murders. Richard Prebble was a strong supporter of all these moves.

    It was Labour and the Greens that voted everything down.

    Please direct your frustration against those that deserve it, not those who worked so hard for us.

  58. Man X Norton says:

    I don’t remember ever hearing anything from Richard Prebble showing concern about families or men’s issues. Muriel Newman appeared to be a voice in the wilderness and it appeared that Prebble tolerated this to some extent. Any evidence to the contrary?

  59. ceekay says:

    Ms Henare says: “This man had a violent track record, two breaches of a protection order and all breaches of protection orders should be treated with the full force of our law.”
    Sure, his final act was violence in the extreme, but after reading everything that I can find, I haven’t found anything that indicates “a violent track record”. Is Henare justifying that the PO was the correct way of dealing with the problems that his marriage was having?
    Dylan illogically writes: “It’s obvious from the resulting murders that the protection order was legitimate”.
    I believe the converse: that the protection order was a catalyst for the murders.
    With the force of the law, Ed was ousted from his family home. His original family lives in Australia – none in NZ, and his own family, his 2 children whom he loved (undeniable) were no longer in his life. He wasn’t allowed to even talk to them on the telephone. He would have spent Christmas without them, in a sad little place in Milton. He came from a broken family childhood himself, and I believe, treasured his family: his own children, above everything else.
    The force of the law determined that he had breached the protection order (second time) by leaving a phone message to say sorry, and he had to go to court for doing it.
    I believe that he was driven to making an extreme scene, which was contributed to by inadequate support for his predicament, the strong arm of the law enforcing an inhumane and callous situation for him, the effect / non effect / muddling of his brain of his medication prescribed to ‘help him cope’, help with the injustice (to him) of the PO , his innate drive to be the protector and provider for his family, and last but not least, his longing for love – both giving and receiving with his own children, and only family.
    The last three were denied him WITH THE FORCE OF THE LAW for reasons that have yet to be revealed.
    He committed a monstrous act, but treatment and circumstances can make anyone, male or female, into a monster.
    As a complete contrast, read the story of Caroline Norton: – a woman, who in the 1830’s, (less than 200 years ago) was ousted by her husband from her home and children, with the force of the law. 200 years is a blip in the evolution of the human family: roles, understandings, beliefs, and yet, they’ve changed a full circle with respect to men’s / women’s rights. Is our treatment of Ed Livingstone the same as that of Caroline Norton?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2172010/Caroline-Norton-custody-battle-changed-law.html

  60. Allan Harvey says:

    Caroline Norton, authour of the tender years doctorine that ended up changing UK law such that on separation children became the property of women until they were 16 years of age.
    As you say a turn around of the previous thinking that still haunts us in Family Courts today.
    Caroline Norton was effective as a lobbyiest not in any small part as she was sleeping with the Prime Minister of the day.

  61. Phil267 says:

    To Man X Norton #56
    Thank you for that. Through my own research (and with the help of this website) I have learnt about the ideological spin put on about family violence and gender issues, and your intelligent analysis really shows how biased social commentators can be. I believe that the bias is due to society and culture believing that women’s health and safety is more deserving than mens’ (remnants of the disposable male culture). Thus, for women’s safety needs to be placed as paramount then by default men need to be stereotyped as the dangerous and controlling gender.

    Social services grew out of rallying against the awful deserving versus non-deserving poor culture and been replaced with an awful deserving (female) versus non-deserving victm (culture). I work in Mental Health and even though male suicide vastly out number female suicides yet no-one is advocating, or apparently even thinking, for men’s only services (they have services for numerous other demographic groups) or for male screening only ( similar to female screening only for IPV at EDs) for Emergency Psych Services, etc. Warren Farrell was right in that we needed a ‘gender transition movement’ and whilst gains have been made for women views on men are stuck in the past and the cultural advantages women do enjoy continue unacknowledged.

    Most people do not seem to be aware of this deserving versus non-deserving victim gender bias. What has happened in Dunedin is devastating but what is also very disturbing is how this tragedy is being used to fuel some people’s gender prejudices. Those children deserve better than that.

  62. Downunder says:

    If someone said

    “imagine a person trapped in circumstances beyond their control”

    what would you imagine – a quadriplegic with a paintbrush in their mouth?

  63. tracey says:

    It is very sad that this man did not seek help or get the right help.
    We dont know all the facts surroudinf this case and reasons for th couple being estranged.
    I dont believe that woman get everything their way as so many men on this site suggest.
    Most women on their own with children have little support.In this country we are harsh toward single mothers I feel.

  64. Allan Harvey says:

    We know this chap had been seeing his GP and had been seen by an experienced psychiatrist. We know he had availed himself of counseling provided by his employer.
    He was certainly seeking help.
    Unfortunately we also know that he had minimal contact with his family. They last phoned him in November for his birthday. Perhaps we imply from that there was no Christmas contact. His step mother says they last had physical contact 3 years ago.
    That speaks to me of significant isolation. When times get tough that is when family and friends are really needed even if the individual is pushing people away.

    Make a phone call today to a mate or family member you have not spoken to for a while. Small things make huge differences!!
    That might have been all it took to keep Ed and his children safe last Wednesday!

  65. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Allan, I applaud your approach, we all must do more to help women and men in need. I try to apply your principles, but always with the knowledge that the system is stacked against us. Family law over the past half century has been used to redefine morality, marriage, the family, gender power relationships, gender wealth relationships. All in a manner that is generally destructive to men and children (and more destructive to women than most would think). With common sense and persuasion a lot of parents chose not to use the weapons family law makes available to them. But the temptation is there, and often the best of counselling is doomed to failure.

  66. hornet says:

    So NOT ONE media outlet is discussing what CAUSES a parent do this, what drives a person to take such extreme action?

    You will also notice no one in the media dare ask the question – did the MEDICATION force this man to do this. Did the medication he was prescribed by the health industry – force a parent to kill his kids?

    No rather its all about more protection orders, more gun control, persecute and restrict your rights some more. All you good people, good parents need to be punished some more, so the corrupted justice system can make more money and control you even more.

    If you have your own children forcibly removed from your life, if you have to also suffer direct attacks on your character, credibility and reputation without consequence to those who lie and abuse the system in pursuit of financial gain. Lawyers and parents do this every time, so lets not sweep this under the carpet – this is the problem.

    The corrupted legal profession will not act to HELP parents in their time of need = because helping will stop their income. Keeping CONFLICT alive, allowing kids to be used as pawns in the pursuit of control and revenue is the tactic in play here and it will continue to destroy good people, kids and parents, so long as it is permitted to continue.

    Until the legal profession is held to account – forced to actually deliver a SERVICE and PROVIDE HELP< then nothing will change. more kids will be harmed, some killed, and more good parents will be led down the same well worn path.

    WHY – because they become distressed and frustrated. Destroyed and deprived. and when that happens – what is left.

  67. MurrayBacon says:

    In a complex situation, common sense is easily lost. This results in paralysis due to the confusion about what to do, too many options to consider.

    May I suggest that the single most critical point, where familycaught$ happily goes way off the rails, in terms of protecting and serving children and parents, is by allowing parents (mainly mothers) to remove a child unilaterally from the marital home.

    If such a removal was treated as illegal abduction and resulted in no benefit for the abductor, then the familycaught$ could support good faith negotiation, in accordance with Family Court Rules and Care of Children Act 2004. The legislation is over a decade old and still waiting to be used! This interpretation is tenable under Care of Children Act, lets choose a constructive interpretation!

    Don’t expect any support from legal workers, for such a terrible idea.

    If parents want to protect themselves as parents, then surely this is an idea worth fighting for?

    Maybe the psychiatric fathers and mothers might want to fight to protect their “right” to abduct their children. However, surely it is hard to fight for the right to abduct children?

    If you look through that link, you will see a comment by PaulM, who when faced with the removal of his child to Canada, 18 months later decided he could no longer afford to live in NZ or on Earth.

    This example may offer some hint as to why Edward Livingstone eventually gave up hope. Quite possibly his decision was completely rational, in the circumstances that he was put into. If you don’t like that hint, there are thousands of other examples to look at…

    I know that most “judges” think – how bad could it be to be abducted by your mother?

    They choose to not look at the available evidence on this topic, as it would take money out of their rotting pockets.

    When a system is run totally outside the legislation passed by Parliament, and operated for the paramount financial interests of legal workers, then the odd few deaths of fathers and mothers and children is easily ignored as road kill. The problems are all their fault, even though the same problems have now shown up thousands of times, through the last 35 years.

    Responsibility is learning from mistakes and doing better next time. The familycaught$ is careful to not learn from its illegal killing mistakes, but it learns fast from its mistakes that put more money into its pockets….

    I suggest that our children and our parents deserve much better protection than what is happening now. In fact, I believe that simply dynamiting the familycaught$ with all of the people still inside would actually be a sensible place to start, cost effective and ethically justifiable.

    Even so, it would be possible to do much better, to have a working Family Court, that achieves what is expected by Parliament and is funded by Parliament. Lets aim this much higher.

    It wouldn’t include judges permanently on Government payroll, but contractors who have passed exams in the necessary skills and who work competitively to deliver value for money and a safe, competent job. People who would be skilled enough, to work subject to the Fair Trading Act.

  68. JohnPotter says:

    hornet asks:

    Did the medication he was prescribed by the health industry – force a parent to kill his kids?

    Psychiatric medication doesn’t work like this. Drugs affect different people in different ways, and at different doses. Sometimes a particular drug doesn’t work as intended, and sometimes there are unwanted side-effects.

    A few decades ago, before type of medication was available, the only real option for dealing with the mentally ill was to lock them up. I don’t think Livingstone had previously done anything that would have justified this.

    I’ve been thinking that the psychiatrist who was treating him must be feeling pretty stink. He has no doubt had a few sleepless nights, and I sympathise with him.

    Whenever I have counselled fathers who have been forcibly separated from their children, and who are clearly unable to think rationally, there is always a bit of fear lurking at the back of my mind: “what if this guy does something stupid?”

    What this case illustrates is that it is not possible to predict violent behaviour even if you are a trained psychiatrist.

    Past behaviour is the only valid indicator as far as I am aware. Even threats of the type Livingstone is said to have made are relatively common compared to actual murders.

    I said in my earlier comment #15 that I believe Livingstone is the only one responsible for his actions. Blaming lawyers, the Family Court, the ‘health industry’ or any other group is no more valid than those who will try to place the responsibility on ‘patriarchy’ or ‘maleness’.

    Having said that, it is clear that an unfair system which places people in situations of intolerable stress will make incidents like this more likely rather than less.

  69. triassic says:

    To judge this man Livingstone based on the information we have so far is unfair to all concerned. It is possible he intended to only commit Filicide and at the last minute took his own life. Depression can warp the mind and make the sufferer feel that not only is their own life is a living hell but the same fate awaits their off-spring and in a perverted action of love they decide to relieve the children from their bleak future. I note that he had little if no family support. I am very eager that the facts of this case are made public but I don’t think they will be because all the events that took place in the FC will be withheld from us. It may well be that it is the way in which he was dealt with by the system that finally pushed him over the edge. Unless you have experienced the family court and any of it’s many tentacles will you really understand how it can turn your life upside down. When a person is raped or brutally assaulted, society gathers around to support you. When the system itself rapes and brutalises you, it temporarily at least, pushes you into a very strange place that leaves deep scars for life.

    You can avoid reality but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality

  70. Ted says:

    Livingstone is the only one responsible for his actions

    People who are insane are generally seen as not responsible for their actions. The Law Society, in explaining why they weren’t responsible, remarked that he was being “treated for mental health problems”. Taking him to court for leaving a message saying he was sorry would upset even the most stable, and might well push a borderline case over the edge. I think that whoever arranged that bears a certain amount of responsibility.

  71. MurrayBacon says:

    In essence, Ted is suggesting that the Law Society is insane.

    People who are insane are generally seen as not responsible for their actions. The Law Society, in explaining why they weren’t responsible, …..

    I suggest that they are sane and have a good understanding about what they are doing. The Government allows them to hear complaints against their members. This only persists because the largest single occupational group in Parliament, is lawyers.

    Thus, they will only be held accountable for their actions, by aggrieved citizens.

    The best measure of integrity, is the degree of willingness to be held accountable. I don’t see any willingness on the part of any legal workers, to face up to the consequences of their actions.

    Their unwillingness and refusal to face the consequences of their actions, leaves them in a very dangerous, narcissistic space.

  72. Downunder says:

    The point of view by Livingstone’s family

    Livingstone’s family, who live in Australia, had no idea the 51-year-old had taken the break-up of his marriage so badly, or that his wife had taken out a protection order stopping him contacting her or the children.

    Neither did they know he had twice breached the strict conditions imposed by the protection order, or that he had told friends he wanted to murder his family and burn the house down with them in it.

    The family of Edward Livingstone are shocked that the “bloody good bloke” they grew up with shot dead his young children before turning the gun on himself.

    Reading through this highlights amongst other things (I think) how important and how influential the people in contact with (or dealing with) another person’s situation actually are, whether that is family friends or professionals.

    Life has it’s responsibilities and they are not always or only those of self responsibility.

    While an act of self responsibility is undeniably the cause for these deaths, an act of responsibility could just as easily have saved these three lives.

  73. hornet says:

    70 . john I disagree – there is overwhelming evidence linking psychotropic drugs and violence.

    Which does suggest that people taking these drugs will do things they normally never would.

    some links below……..

    http://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/drug_warnings_on_violence/

    http://www.madinamerica.com/2013/01/forbes-unpublishes-commentary-on-medicationviolence-link/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-peter-breggin/medication-madness-how-ps_b_223922.html

    http://www.breggin.com/

  74. hornet says:

    additionally, we cant sit on the fence on this one – agreed the system is driving people down a path which is unpleasant – which then means we have to cast blame, we have to hold them to account and we must demand change.

    To say that this man ALONE was driven to this situation is failing to understand exactly what happens to people who are deliberately deprived time with their own children.

  75. JohnPotter says:

    Hornet says:

    there is overwhelming evidence linking psychotropic drugs and violence.

    “Psychotropic drugs” include abused recreational drugs like methamphetamines which I agree can contribute to violence.

    There is certainly an association between psychiatric drugs and violence, but this does not prove that these drugs cause violence. The association is because a high proportion of mentally unwell, potentially violent people are taking some kind of medication these days.

    The information in the links you supplied should be treated skeptically, for instance The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) is a front organisation for the Church of Scientology which has always had an anti-psychiatry agenda. There is also a major campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to deflect blame on the role of guns in recent mass shootings.

  76. hornet says:

    A scenario.

    Relationship between mother and father ends. Father moves out, and finds another woman.

    Mother gets jealous, nasty and seeks revenge – what better way to exact revenge and cause the father pain, than by stopping the father from seeing his kids, ably assisted by lawyers in the family court, who facilitate applications for violence and or protection orders, based on little or no evidence, and usually rushed through ex parte, so there is no opportunity for the father to defend the allegations.

    FATHER is then RESTRICTED from seeing his own kids, usually with demands that he can only see them under SUPERVISION.

    So a good father before the relationship ended is now branded a monster incapable of having time with his own children – all based on the word of one person – how hates him and who is out to get even and cause him problems in his life into the future. Do we not think this evidence may be slightly BIASED?

    Father – gets very distressed by this – not seeing his kids, while also having to deal with having a protection order slapped on him – he has no money, time or ability to defend the allegations and remove the protection order so it stays – for LIFE.

    Father gets counseling, seeks help from friends and family and his new partner – but no one can help a man deliberately deprived of time with his kids……that is the only thing which will fix him – let him see his kids.

    So this “BLOODY GOOD BLOKE”, is placed on medication – and coincidentally like so many others forced to take psychiatric drugs – he commits an atrocity so completely out of character.

    This is the common thread taking place every day in family court – these are the tactics of disgruntled parents wanting to exact revenge on ex partners, ably assisted by lawyers and the medical profession making a fortune from peoples despair.

    If this man had been given access to his kids, and had NOT been placed on medication I bet things would never have ended this way.

    How do I know about this horrendous tactic exacted by jealous, narcissistic and revenge orientated ex partners – because its exactly what I had to endure – only I was very fortunate – I was able to defend the Ex parte applications – based on lies and total fabrication and had all attempts to get violence and protection orders thrown out – that was my only WIN in this horrible system.

  77. JohnPotter says:

    Hornet – I acknowledge that your story is very common. I don’t intend to defend or excuse the actions of “revenge orientated ex partners”, lawyers or Family Court officials.

    However I am concerned that there will be men who find this website when they are angry and confused, and possibly temporarily deranged due to the emotional pressure they are under.

    It may be that Livingstone was not criminally responsible for his actions due to insanity, but at the end of the day he made the decision to get a gun and kill his children. I think we need to give a clear message that we men don’t support, endorse or excuse this behaviour, no matter how much he was provoked.

    I also think that if psychiatric medication (particularly antidepressants) were not available, the suicide rate would be MUCH higher. If I am talking to someone recently separated I always ask them if they are depressed, having trouble sleeping, etc. If they are I suggest they talk to their family doctor about whether medication might be helpful.

    Advising a father with severe depression to just “tough it out” is not responsible advice in my opinion.

  78. Carol says:

    There are times when women are left with no other option than to get a protection order.I never ever thought that I would have to get one. But when my ex husband’s behaviour became so over the top after we separated I was left with no other choice. I had car tyres let down, gas bottles stolen and replaced with empty bottles. Jewellery stolen, including my late daughter’s jewellery (not his daughter) He got into the house via a cat door then levering a window above it open while I was sleeping and terrorized me. I’d wake up in the morning to find my computer lying on the floor with all the plugs pulled out of it and heaps of my food and other items missing. His psychological abuse went on and on and on. Then I got cancer. Even then his abuse continued. He put profiles of me on porn dating sites. I felt so humiliated that I wished that I was dead. He’d stolen my computer that had all my photos on it and a video of my late daughter. I got a protection order against him to give me a little bit of piece to get through my cancer treatment

  79. Downunder says:

    @ John
    When I was helping guys, and this is a while ago now, (when the Family Court was extreme in its handling on men’s cases and UOF was formed) we had three simple rules.

    A place to live – with other people (i.e. not their car)

    Look after their job.

    Keep their head in the right place.

    That meant some guys slept in my spare bed, some came to work with me for the day, some slept at my workplace temporarily, but all got our free legal advice (as best we could offer) and a Mckenzie Friend.

    It was a massive volunteer organisation, and if it did one thing it brought home to me just how much was required to be a confronting force to the system.

    While the remnants of UOF and dedicated campaigners like Paul Catton still exist, the network required to ensure this sort of thing doesn’t happen is huge.

    There is an undeniable fact – that it will happen again as long as men do not receive the support they need to deal with the turmoil they find themselves in during Family Court cases.

    The way I look at this is – not that the world is what it is, but that what is happening to those men (in their mind) is the way the world is to them, and if you can’t change that, then you’re not getting anywhere, and sometimes it takes a lot more than a chat to make things any better for them.

  80. Kant says:

    Carol, I concur with you and i have yet to meet a man who believes that protection orders are NEVER required. What most men are complaining about is the ease with which these can be obtained and if falsely obtained then the lack of accountability required from the complainant. Most men i know dont wish to be a thousand miles from their ex but do wish to be close to the children. These protection orders a a great tool in punishing good men.

  81. Carol says:

    PEACE is what I needed at that time, not a raving lunatic breaking into my house or letting my car tyres down

  82. Kant says:

    Yea my ex wanted the same thing….. Piece of my estate despite a pre nuptial.

  83. Carol says:

    Yep my ex wanted the same thing too.. We also had a pre nupial. He spent all his money on prostitutes, cellphone sex and pornography, then he wanted half of my money. His lawyers ended up becoming quite wealthy because of his stupidity.

  84. Carol says:

    Oops another spelling mistake Kant. Pre nuptial.

  85. Man X Norton says:

    Carol, was your ex convicted of these crimes that you accuse him of?

  86. Kant says:

    I new i had a speling prblim wehn mi silisitor told me i had reqestid custord tea and i no dam wel i askded for custardee.

  87. ian says:

    I believe I read that the killer was on medication. There is now a clear link between mass killings anti depressants and anti psychotics. Unfortunately this fact has stayed well hidden from the public. In almost all of the mass shootings in the USA the killers have been on anti depressants or anti psychotics. The stats are out there if you look hard enough. Unfortunately this particular avenue of investigation is out of bounds for NZ Police as the political fallout with American elitists would see Key evicted from Obama’s lap ( And don’t forget the TPP). Nothing I have read in the media has suggested in the slightest that the medication the killer was on may have contributed to or indeed caused his actions. I

  88. ian says:

    If anyone cares to see that stats I will post them up.

  89. Kant says:

    Correlation does not give cause. Depression is also a factor in violence. SSIRs are a life saver for many.

  90. ian says:

    Your point being what?

  91. Kant says:

    causation is difficult to determine. Statistics are dangerous when they are neither quantitative or qualitatively acquired.
    You say there is now a “clear link” between mass killings, anti depressants and anti psychotics. My point is that I fail to see that in the links you supplied.

  92. Kant says:

    Correction…. I failed to see that in the links on the subject that Google supplied.

  93. Sane in an insane world says:

    Seems to me that their is a nice way of breaking up and a cruel way.
    Research says that most females seem to be narcissists and lack any empathy therefore they think it ok to lie to men for years, and not tell them that they hate them. All the while they are plotting and conspiring with other females and/or males about how best to exit the relationship and make their husbands life hell.

    KISS: 1. U do not introduce hate into a child’s life if you love them.

    2. U do not risk a child’s well being by upsetting their happy childhood by taking away a parent who loves them. I know of many children whose wishes have been ignored due to the narcissism of mothers.

    3. Protection Orders are given for next to nothing – no proof of harm required.

    4. Breaches of Protection Orders are prosecuted by the NZ Gestapo cops for ‘crimes’ such as texting a friend of hers, or driving through the same suburb or town as her, or emailing – no threats or abuse, etc etc. Its all bullshit to keep conflict going.

    5. Despite all Protection Orders awarded against ‘violent’ males. Despite the malicious and vindictive attacks of females verbal, physical, and false complaints to manipulate the authorities to ‘punish’ the male who has pissed them off and disagreed with her or not done what he was told. There are a mere handful of killings and real violence against females. This proves to me that most violence is caused by the hateful actions of females and that males are not the rabid dogs that they are portrayed as by feminists (anti-male rights) and the government policy spoon fed to the media.

    food for thought.

  94. hornet says:

    Ian at 87 – see my comments which support your information at 73 and below. I agree with exactly what you are saying and I am sure many others do as well. NO rather the media focus is on GROWING the VIOLENCE industry and removing guns from law abiding citizens – no one wants to talk about the causes – why a dad – a good bugger kills his kids – because he was deprived of seeing them by a corrupted system – and in his mind = ably assisted by the drugs they gave him to push him over the edge – his rational was – if I cant see them she cant either………. Do we hear anyone talking about this – NO – because its the truth and it does not support this stinking industry of enflaming conflict on good parents and destroying kids.

  95. Carol says:

    There has to be a nicer way of breaking up than hating each other

  96. Alastair says:

    It is commonly done Carol. It requires both parties to remember their children are NOT responsible, and to successfully raise them needs both their natural mother and Father. It is only rarely that these people can be replaced with a stranger!

    Note the use of Non Gender specific terms!

    And dare I say it, it reqires forgiveness and understanding on the part of BOTH parents, both of the other and themselves.

  97. Sarah Haras says:

    The only cases I have personally witnessed where a break up has been amicable has been where the mother is a life-styler DPBer, and is happy for the her children to spend time with their father, whilst she is more interested in moving on to the father on her next child, and thus prolong her life-style.
    My brother’s ex’s eldest child is about 18; she has spent most (I estimate 15yrs) of the last 18 years on DPB – she worked the system and collected DPB most of the time she was with my brother (officially lived in her own home) whilst they had two kids together (her 4th & 5th); She is now pregnant again (#6)to her third sperm-provider, meaning her total DPB career will likely span 33 years.
    But her break up with my brother was amicable; he has his 2 kids half-time, but she won’t agree to that in writing, because it’ll affect her DPB. At least he pays no CS (I don’t know how they managed that; but he does legitimately earn next to nothing.

  98. hornet says:

    And here in lies another systemic failure – or at least the currently desired best practice by despicable lawyers wanting to ensure conflict is perpetuated – forever – the system freely allows and permits kids to be used as pawns – to leverage money, to cause harm to the other parent etc……

    This is the indictment of the NZ family court system – children are used at will – when they are supposed to be protected and kept out of any conflict between parents.

    If the adults are having disagreements, and need to be separated – fine – of course that needs to happen, but why does our current system then involve the kids, and permit them to be also alienated from one of their parents. USually based on ONLY the word of a parent who has everything to gain – biased evidence from the outset.

    If the kids were allowed to see their father – then we would not be dealing with another tragedy.

    I have had ten years, where the child was permitted to be used, abused, destroyed psychologically by a narcissistic and vindictive individual, ably assisted by the family court. That is the concern today, as it will be tommorrow – because fking lawyers dont want to change a system which is keeping them financially rewarded – by enflaming and inciting CONFLICT – by deliberately preventing one parent from seeing their children.

  99. Allan Harvey says:

    There has to be a nicer way of breaking up than hating each other

    Yes that is to be hoped and certainly the long term outcome should be “not hating each other” that is always good for children.
    I often take a short, medium and long term approach when talking to people who come to see me. In the early stages things are raw; hurts (feelings, egos, sometimes physical wounds) are on the surface. At that point in time, possibly hate is necessary. People come together as a result of a process and strong emotions. Separating is hard, difficult and involved. It takes energy. If separating was easy then it wouldn’t be a problem but for nearly everyone it is hard. The difficulty perhaps validates the reality of the relationship.
    Two people are also in 2 different placesin every separation; normally one is a leaver and the other party wants things to not change much. These leaver/left roles can change but the point is they are hugely different in psychology, emotion and perspective.
    In the medium term hurts are often not as apparent but the hurt perceptions remain and are often even more reinforced about each other. I like to introduce that once upon a time things were different, they wanted to do things together, they were close, they conceived children together, they parented together. Most people can find those memories when their hurts have healed a bit.
    What determines long term outcomes is normally determined by how people cope themselves and what support they have. I surprised myself this week as I filled in a form for my daughter about my earnings for student bursary purposes. It asked about her mum’s details and I realised that it had been over a year since we communicated, she had moved and I didn’t know where, her address, her telephone number or anything about her. Maybe I have reached the long term position. Our children are adults, they have contact with us both, we each have separate lives, I have positive memories that (I choose to) outweigh the bad stuff. Hatred isn’t there for me. That is good for me, my current partner, my children and the universe.
    We can all help others along this journey!

  100. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Allan @99

    Good words as ever Allan. I got screwed in my divorce 30 years ago, but I do not blame my ex, I blame the family law system that has been captured by politics. My ex just took all the political advantages she was given, who wouldn’t?

    It is a lot worse now for separating parents. I did not have to face DPO’s, PSO’s, having my work suspended, or uneven splitting of matrimonial property.

    I am only grateful I had the strength and support not to snap completely and do something as horrific as Edward Livingstone or Rosemary Perkins.

    I did get the humiliation of my ex-wife’s adultery, my ex denying me equal shared parenting, and effectively only seeing my children by permission of my ex.

    I had to face a wedding of one of my children a few years ago. I focused on the positive and practically ignored my ex. Others go out to dinner with their ex, share Christmases etc. Not I.

  101. and heres another “murder suicide” from what I can gather the father was concerned the mother was taking his daughter away to Europe……. another tragedy.

    http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/gold-coast/heartbreak-in-the-dunes-as-greg-hutchings-and-eeva-dorendahl-found-dead/story-fnj94idh-1226812588294

  102. P.S good on ya Bruce, it takes a strong man to endure that and remain sane.

  103. Allan Harvey says:

    I was involved in a case where the NZ Family Court allowed mother to relocate to a European country with a 3 year old. Mum had some depression that her psychiatrist said could be reduced by returning to her parents home. Dad decided to follow but the language barrier made it hard for him to obtain work. Not surprisingly, although the NZ Court had assured Dad jurisdiction would remain in NZ and the order stated that, once gone the NZ Court wanted nothing to do with Dad, the case and rolled over jurisdiction to the European Country immediately.
    Not surprisingly Father’s mental health suffered immensely overseas, he burnt through his money in 18 months but was able to secure some poorly paid work that kept the wolf from his door. Took him 5 years in the foreign jurisdiction to get some form of shared care (30%)and thankfully has recently obtained work in his area of expertise which has enabled him to secure his residency.
    Well done Dad, persistence has won out but at huge personal cost. What a let down from the support and promises he was made in the judgement given by the NZ Family Court.

  104. MurrayBacon says:

    Trust in familycaught$ is a life and death issue, in many ways.

    When judges say one thing and do the complete opposite, then loss of trust is a foreseeable and natural consequence.
    Court refuses to send quake-affected boys [back] to NZ

    In the wake of these types of games, then these situations are not just “parental mental health issues” as claimed by apparently corrupt judges, but an expected consequence of corrupt behaviour by legal workers.

    Heartbreak in the dunes as Greg Hutchings and Eeva Dorendahl found dead – see link at #101 above

    Before he disappeared, Mr Hutchings had expressed concerns Ms Dorendahl was planning to take his daughter to Finland.

    Although cases like these ones are highly dramatic and widely published in profit media, by far the largest amount of harm that is being done to our society, is occurring in the many, many tens of thousands of cases, where familycaught$ judges:

    1. refuse to enforce everyday breaches of parenting plans, or
    2. sign evidence-less “protection orders” to legalise illegal breaches of parenting orders or
    3. use baseless child support payments as a barrier to children spending parenting time with their parents (usually fathers).

    Actually, probably it is hundreds of thousands of cases………

  105. kumar says:

    If courts don’t allow they will run away with kids…dads suffer as they wash out any memory of existence of a dad.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/9661943/Kidnapped-girl-not-a-victim

  106. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    A shocking exposé of the inner workings of the $50 billion a year
    U.S. family law industry, Divorce Corp shines a bright light on the appalling waste, and shameless collusive practices seen daily in family courts. It is a stunning documentary film that anyone considering marriage or divorce must see.

  107. Allan Harvey says:

    Hi Kumar,
    Yes this is a tragic tale and shows how risky the situation can be. Mother was having SUPERVISED contact and disappeared? This child (now 20 year old woman) has never known her biological father and the woman she is strongly bonded with is likely to spend years in prison. Only in America!!
    What should happen here is resources should be put into assisting this child/woman to be re-introduced to her father and have one more significant parent figure added to her life. What good does it do to reinforce her alienation, make her mother a victim in her eyes and all this happening half a world away from each other.
    Bizarre how this parades as a legal system, it is insane!!!

  108. Downunder says:

    An Australian look-a-like case unfolding

    Police responded to an emergency call from within the home on D’Arcy Road at Carina about 6:30am AEST.

    They found a 39-year-old woman, a nine-year-old girl and a seven-year-old boy with multiple, life-threatening stab wounds.

    A 41-year-old male family member, who was also found at the house, was taken into custody and this afternoon charged with three counts of attempted murder and two counts of grievous bodily harm.

    He will appear in Roma Street Magistrates Court tomorrow.

  109. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Yet again, and again, and again. If the authorities treat fathers like animals, some are far more likely to behave like animals.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11201273

    Thursday Feb 13, 2014

    An estranged father who killed his 11-year-old son in front of shocked children and parents after cricket practice has died after he was shot by Victoria police.

  110. triassic says:

    Not only do I agree with you Bruce but so does history. Sociologist have written many papers concerning this phenomenon. Humans have a limited capacity to cope with stress cause through injustice and then the inevitable occurs.

    Respect for all its citizens should be a high priority for any government. Unfortunately to gain that respect a citizen in today’s society is best being a female, non-white and preferable a homosexual.

  111. @ bruce agreed,

    So sad another father / son / murder directly linked with custody and rulings through the family court

    How many innocent kids have to die ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11201695

  112. MurrayBacon says:

    Cricket tragedy: Father kills son in front of other children

    Forgiveness for killer dad

    The following comments are not directly related to the Melbourne murder suicide, as I don’t know exactly what went on in that situation.

    Caughts may be a big lucrative game, but we should be paying careful attention to the quality of what is going on in these caught$ and also we should be looking carefully at all of the costs of these caught$. Blood of victims is a cost to society, let alone the value of the person’s life to themself. Just because they have suicided, doesn’t give us a right to devalue their life to nothing.

    These are easily solvable problems, if a person has integrity in their heart.

    It is easy for any toy judge to say it isn’t my fault, after a parental suicide or murder, but after many hundreds, more likely thousands of parental suicides, even the thickest paper pusher should be able to see what the pattern is.

    The secrecy put down after a suicide is allowing this killing to go on and on, by protecting judges from proper accountability for their actions.

    The first place to start solving these problems, would be to remind judges about their oath of office…..

  113. Murray Bacon says:

    The NZ Herald has written two followup articles about Edward Livingstone, the latter including several related documents.
    Diversion for killer father a mistake (The headline sounds as though the judge knew that Livingstone would do the murder and suicide, the real point being that similar warning signs are present in thousands of situations. Heeding all warning sides does even more harm, than a few rare murder suicides.)

    In the end, revenge all that mattered

    The latter article includes a small number of relevant documents. Reading through them, in terms of Edward Livingstone’s own words, they appear to be carefully filtered by his barrister, in line with what familycaught$ is willing to hear. As a result, I don’t think that anything of his attitudes and words speaks through, apart from his actions.

    Unfortunately, all of the commentators speak from never having been through the situation of having their own contact with their children cutoff for an illegally long period of time and then (from Edward Livingstone’s point of view) arbitrarily restricted and mangled.

    So we seem to have two types of approaches:

    (a) Overstress the father, illegally damage many tens of thousands of fathers relationships with their children by restricting access longer than the maximum set in DC Act and maintaining a handful of fathers carrying out murder-suicides, or

    (b) Follow the DV Act, keep within the maximum time limits set for arbitrarily restricting access between children and now non-custodial parents and be seen to protect father’s access with children and have fewer (but still not zero) mothers and fathers murdering their children.

    We are required by law to follow the latter path (b), so I find it difficult to understand why familycaught$ is still hellbent on the earlier (a) path, for more deaths and legal mayhem.

    I still find it hard to work up a froth over a few children violently murdered by their stepfathers or fathers, when more children are drugged and smothered by their mothers to death, to say nothing of many, many tens of thousands of children being emotionally neglected by their depressed mothers, when they are left alone with them for dangerously long periods of time eg several days. We should show much more care about the quality of all children’s lives, rather than focus only a few cases where blood can be seen.

    I am intrigued that the NZ Herald had the foresight to get Edward Livingstone to sign release documents, before his murders and suicide. Also, how will NZ Herald get absolution for not acting to prevent the murders and suicide, given their prior notice? Or is it just that with the party now being dead, he cannot defend his “rights” under the Privacy Act?

    Keeping children happy, developing well and mentally healthy is worth far more than “rights” under the Privacy Act anyway. Shine a bright light and lets sort these man made disasters out.

    Lets offer hope for fathers and mothers and children, that looks higher than rational suicide. At present, the familycaught$ just looks hopeless.

  114. Allan Harvey says:

    Murray all that was released was the Criminal Court matters. None of the Family Court details have been released.
    It was interesting to see the new information but as you say it was carefully crafted by lawyers, psychiatrist, psychotherapist and the Police. No where in the article does the Herald dawn on a solution to this madness as being community support for separated people.
    It is easy to blame dead men who like poor Ed Livingstone went from the home he owned and died in, to mortuary for autopsy, to the on call undertaker, to crematorium and probably his ashes are still at the undertakers. Not one family, friend, colleague was present to morn for Ed. That speaks volumes about social isolation and society’s ostracism of the Ed’s of this world under the rhetoric of “support of victims”. Our new Police Commissioner made the point just yesterday that victims and praise for victimhood was central to his new term in office.

  115. Murray Bacon says:

    Although this post is about one particular father murder suicide, in the post above, I pointed out that familycaught$ process overstresses the non-custodial parent father.

    The familycaught$ also uses overstress on parents facing CYFs. Often the other party to CYFs is a couple. If the parent, sole or couple react badly to the overstress, this is used to justify taking their children from them. Important to note, that misbehaviour under overstress after the removal of the children, can be used to justify earlier removal of children from the parent(s).

    It might well be that many successful, effective and safe parents would fail this overstress test, but this doesn’t deter its use in familycaught$.

    In the absence of skills to measure and judge child emotional and care neglect, the vacuum is filled by any available procedure that can reach the necessary decision, even if lacking rigour, relevance or integrity.

    But back to Edward Livingstone, if familycaught$ had followed natural justice, if they had weighed real evidence with skill and wisdom, might 2 children and an impoverished father be alive today?

    The present “legal process”, working outside of the DV Act, is closer to dunking witches in a river to measure their guilt, than to protecting families from legal workers.

    I am making a case for following the Domestic Violence Act, as passed by Parliament. Since the act was passed into law, family deaths by violence haven’t changed up or down measurably. Maybe that act is irrelevant to solving the issues that it forlornly tries to address? If so, then we need to look for a more sensible and humane way of resolving family disputes.

    Starting a legal process after unilateral removal of children from a marital home, is a recipe for legal charging success and social failure. Do we really want to keep on doing this? MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  116. Allan Harvey says:

    No disagreement from me Murray,
    At the moment we have coppers filing in lots of “risk” forms and while the paperwork is more so is caution levels. The model currently used has a desire to identify victim (lily white) and perpetrator (deepest black)when in reality all are a shade of grey. Unfortunately that doesn’t suit current political desires for clarity and contrast.

  117. Downunder says:

    Australian History

    But the local courts didn’t know he was convicted 30 years ago for the arson of his girlfriend’s Sydney home after she said she’d be leaving him

  118. MurrayBacon says:

    It is easy to be wise after the event. The familycaught$ judge and the police were faced with the “before the event” responsibility to make a decision.

    Out of many tens of thousands of situations, there are many situations with serious warning signs about violence, where nothing untoward ever happens. There are many situations where there were no warning signs and violence does occur.

    Much damage is done by getting these decisions wrong, so we have to have a constructive and safe method of proceeding. Just doing what appears to be safe – issue DV PO, actually appears to have inflamed this situation with tragic results. The “solution” was a very big part of the problem.

    Access to a more full file of data about a person’s history looks like a good place to start. It is, but the problematic people have often moved around a lot, often changed their names and the like, to make themselves difficult to trace – ie done everything to avoid accountability. The very fact of lots of moving around, is a warning sign of itself – it will be very hard or impossible to track down a complete file.

    Judith Collins pointed out that the earlier Livingstone history would have been hidden behind clean slate legislation (which I don’t believe is the best way to handle history).

    NZ Herald also had a similar article.

    If we are looking for critical points, which had they been acted differently would/might have saved these lives, then I suggest that the critical points that appear to be worth looking closely at are:

    1. children to not be removed from marital home, until a parenting plan has been agreed and approved.
    2. apply the DV Act as it was intended by Parliament, using honest meanings for english words
    3. make sure that on separation both parents have access to relevant and useful mental health suppport
    4. before birth of children, both parents have access to relevant and useful mental health suppport

    All of the points above, are aimed at solving issues by honest negotiation (in accordance with the published but ignored Family Court Rules), not by using fait accomplii and other familycaught$ dishonest lawyer tricks.

    All of the points above, said in a different way, are aimed at solving issues without using any more stress than is necessary and appropriate.

  119. Downunder says:

    I have seen it mentioned here before and it stood out to me when I read the media reports.

    Livingstone was in effect playing the ‘housewife role’ and his wife was playing the ‘husband go off to work each day’ role.

    Some woman really don’t handle this; they lose control of ‘their nest’, they are not seeing the children during the day, the father becomes the go to guy even when she is at home, ‘her income’ has to cover all the expenses.

    These circumstances are not necessarily ‘decided’, they are dictated by circumstances, and all of a sudden people find themselves in situations they didn’t expect and don’t like.

    It is quite probable that if life had continued that way, both were happy about it, and it was affordable this wouldn’t have happened.

    I suspect what happened here started around the familial situation and was made worse by Livingstone’s difficulties getting back into the workforce, then became an unstoppable downhill trip, once he was forced out of the house.

    Because of the end result I doubt that there will ever be an independent assessment that will say that this could have been avoided if Livingstone had not been put in this position, because there exists the slightest possibility that his wife may ‘according to the feminist definition’ have been guilty of domestic violence, prior to their separation.

    Who knows if there was any degree of alienation real or perceived.

    I don’t think that ‘something’ caused a supposedly loving father to murder his children and then kill himself – it would have been a long drawn-out series of connected events, each deteriorating the situation a little further until he finally snapped.

    Who would want to be the Coroner that came out with any support for Livingstone and his situation at any point in the circumstances prior to these deaths?

  120. MurrayBacon says:

    Coroners are trained as lawyers and generally this comes with a built in blindness to failures on the part of individual or groups of lawyers.

    Who would want to be the Coroner that came out with any support for Livingstone and his situation at any point in the circumstances prior to these deaths?

    I could quote Justice Peter Mahon as a man who was willing to listen carefully and then work things out for himself. As a Commission of Inquiry, he had plenty of time to work through issues. Also, he wasn’t investigating failures among legal workers.

    The level of thinking that Sir Ron Davison used to create the DV Act and then led to legal workers disastrously abusing that Act, will never solve the problems created by Davison.

  121. Downunder says:

    Coroner’s Hearing

    The grieving mother of two children killed by their father will speak publicly for the first time today at a coroner’s inquest into the apparent double murder-suicide.

    Bradley, 9, and his sister Ellen, 6, were shot dead by Edward Livingstone at their home in the Dunedin suburb of St Leonards, shortly before 10pm on January 15 last year.

    Livingstone, 51, was later found dead in the front bedroom of the house at 9 Kiwi St. A shotgun lay next to him. He did not have a firearms licence.

  122. Doug says:

    The key questions according to Stuff are:

    * Was police’s handling of Livingstone in the months leading up to the shooting up to standard?
    * Were the courts too lenient when sentencing Livingstone in relation to breaches of a protection order?
    * Was Livingstone’s counselling and psychiatric supervision effective enough?
    * Where did Livingstone get the gun used in the shooting?

    No mention of the roles of state agencies, the current law or whether the rules or the application of the rules aggravated the situation. God forbid any questioning of the role of DV or child support laws.
    Reading between the lines on that list the inquiry is all about did we hit him hard enough and can we justify hitting “them” even harder in future? I’m reluctant to defend this person but the current system seems designed to push those with mental health problems over the edge and to cause problems for those who are currently sane, in some aspects you couldn’t design a worse system if you tried.

  123. Man X Norton says:

    Good comments Doug, thanks.

  124. MurrayBacon says:

    Research completed prior to the passing of the Domestic Violence Act warned that a severe approach would reduce violence to women in the majority of cases (from negligible to further negligible, though possibly with other perverse outcomes as well) and in a small minority of cases, much more extreme violence could be expected. The more extreme violence could be expected when the alienated parent had anti social personality disorder (ie a criminal history).

    What was the Research Justification for DV Act?
    look down the page to:
    extract from: Chapter 04 What Are the Lessons of the Police Arrest Studies

    What we are seeing in western countries, is exactly what the earlier research warned was likely to happen.

    Generally the research has been applied by people who read what they wanted to from it, without understanding the full meaning.

    I would suggest – applied without common sense?

    Love and kisses,
    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  125. MurrayBacon says:

    antisocial personality disorder from Wikipedia

    The risk of increased violence on being alienated doesn’t just apply for an individual who can be formally diagnosed with ASPD (ie 1 or 2% of population), but also for people who have many traits, but not enough for a formal diagnosis. In other words, about 10% of the adult population are likely to respond with increased violence, to being alienated by POs, especially if issued evidence-free and/or by perjury.

    The end conclusion isn’t to stupidly issue more POs, but to use wisdom and common sense and issue them (based on real evidence) when this is the only workable approach available.

    Parliament was specific that POs were not to be used to alienate children from parents!!!!!!

    In other words, the solution is to follow the legislation sensibly!

  126. MurrayBacon says:

    #122 Spoton:

    ….but the current system seems designed to push those with mental health problems over the edge and to cause problems for those who are currently sane, in some aspects you couldn’t design a worse system if you tried.

  127. Downunder says:

    Source

    Later, police would find at the Argyle St flat a handwritten note dated 15/1/2014.

    It said: “Sorry Why couldn’t Kathy just let me see and spend time with my children? That’s all I wanted, Don’t care about the separation and the house. Just Bradley and Ellen!! I will be with them now.”

    His estranged wife, Katharine Webb, maintains Livingstone did not care much about the children and killed them in a vindictive act directed at her.

    The whole note was in capitals and bore at the end Livingstone’s extravagant signature.

  128. Downunder says:

    I think the mental health label becomes somewhat judgemental and dismissive. It shouldn’t have happened therefore the fault is with the ‘offender’.

    I prefer to look at this from the point of view of injustice and anger.

    Injustice creates anger, greater injustice creates greater anger, rage, even unpredictable behaviour, instability in the tired mind.

    In that respect it a single line upon which we all fit according to our complete circumstances.

    Most will be fortunate enough never to walk in the shoes of those who reach the desperate end of this line.

    Above this stops being about Edward Livingstone and becomes

    A. about is wife: He didn’t love the children, he hated me.

    B. about society: Police et al admit failures – meaning they didn’t stop the intolerable act, they didn’t contain the problem person that has offended society.

    C. About us: The point at which we can justify saying the person must have been a fault based on the outcome, there must have been a problem here, but it was with the person.

    It will be interesting to see the Coroner’s report; did the person fail society or did society fail the person?

  129. Man X Norton says:

    Protection orders are inherently unjust. They transgress the most fundamental principles of fairness and justice. They damage respondents’ relationships with their own children and remove various other civil rights on the basis of no evidence aside from allegations by an accuser who is seldom free of ulterior motive and/or emotive subjectivity that distorts her perceptions and beliefs.

    Edward Livingstone was a troubled man capable of extreme violence. He is responsible for his actions and indeed he held himself responsible for them through his suicide. His murders and suicide appeared to be based on a fantasy that he would thereby be reunited with his children. Preventing a father from seeing and maintaining his paternal role with his children is one of the most violent and provocative things one can do to him. As always, using the unjust protection order process to do so can only be expected to tip those who are truly dangerous over the edge, while protection orders actually protect only those who were never at much risk of harm, and only from the inconvenience of having to see or communicate with the respondent.

    The feminists and the most stupid of our general public believe that by clamping down more aggressively on respondents this will improve protection ‘for women and children’. However, this ignores the provocation aspect of injustice. If the Court imprisons a respondent for waving at his children in passing, or for sending an apologetic email to the applicant, or for a visit invited by the applicant, we can only expect that the respondent will be more furious and feel more hopeless when released and this will increase risk. The state could simply imprison all male respondents of protection orders, but even that would not increase safety. Firstly, if men know this might be done to them the truly dangerous ones will ensure their initial actions are conclusive. If a dangerous man knows he might be imprisoned or ankle-tagged through a protection order for shouting as his wife when he catches her in bed with his best friend, well then he is more likely simply to kill her on the spot. Secondly, if men are to be routinely imprisoned on the word of women, society will soon degenerate into something approaching civil war.

    If Edward Livingstone had been able to feel secure in his role with his children, knowing that as long as he were not abusive towards them directly his role would be respected, then this tragic outcome would probably never have eventuated. Unfortunately the feminists don’t really care about risk to children, only that men continue to be blamed, demonized and diminished. As long as the politicians and the public continue to be taken in by feminists’ false direction, more tragic outcomes are assured.

  130. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Downunder, sure the mental health bogey is used by ignorant and irresponsible people to point responsibility away from themselves, such as legal workers.

    It will be interesting to see the Coroner’s report; did the person fail society or did society fail the person?

    However, as each of us must live with our history and our mental health problems, it is just as true that professionals need to take into account all relevant and helpful issues, including mental health issues.

    This is exactly why the researchers doing the USA Police Arrest studies included these issues into their research plans and outcomes. They knew that to competently and successfully address domestic violence issues, decision makers likely (as a result of the research WOULD) have to take into account the mental health of the populations of people who would be processed through the system. This type of analysis is called epidemiology and is very successful in helping create successful public health programmes, from vaccinations, to disease surveillance, to regular population testing of at risk groups.

    Put the other way, any decision makers who attempted to address DV issues, without competently taking into account mental health issues, would be doomed to create more harm, than they could possibly save ie be vandals of society.

    This is exactly what has occurred in NZ and most other western countries.

    The question isn’t really:

    1. “who can we shift blame onto, that cannot defend themselves?”, but:

    2. “can we make social changes, so that we can achieve better outcomes, with the existing population of individuals that we have in NZ?”

    It will be interesting to see the Coroner’s report; did the person fail society or did society fail the person?

    In essence, Judge Mahon at the Erebus Inquiry asked a question of type 2.
    chief justice sir ron davison asked a question of type 1 and led NZ like idiots into the hazardous DV Act and the stupid and dangerous way that that Act is applied by NZ judges.

    Anyway, while we are talking idly, what is happening in the apparent Invercargil abduction of the 11 year old boy? (I have a painful feeling of de ja vu.)
    How many father’s suicides are occurring as we talk and chit chat?
    There are real and large costs to talking and doing nothing.

    MurrayBacon – axe murderer.

  131. Downunder says:

    LIVINGSTONE A ‘SEX ADDICT’

    A psychotherapist, whose identity is suppressed, said she met with Livingstone 24 times between July 4, 2013, and December 18, 2013.

    “He self-referred after realising that his traumatic past was having an effect on his current life,” she said.

    Livingstone was also seeing a counsellor at the same time.

    “Edward stated he wished to get all the help he could in the hope his marriage could be saved.”

    The psychotherapist said Livingstone presented with severe depression that had been covert for many years. It was caused by continuous childhood trauma that had never been addressed.

    “To cope with this, I believe he had been in a self-protective, disassociated state that incapacitated his state of awareness.”

    His depression became noticeable to those around him in early 2013, the woman said.

    “He told me his childhood trauma consisted of a violent, alcoholic father and his mother had left him when he was 3 years old. He was also sexually abused by a teacher at school when aged 11.”

    Livingstone explained that his break-down began when his dog died in February 2013 and he “cried uncontrollably”.

    “He had not experienced emotion such as this since he was a small boy. After that he realised that his anxiety would build until he exploded.”

    Livingstone insisted that he never hurt his family, but would hit a wall or throw something, the psychotherapist said.

    “Later, whenever I mentioned his anger, he said he was not angry, just frustrated. It seemed to him that anger met violence as he had experienced with his father.”

    Livingstone told her he drank six cans of beer most nights when he lived at the family home. He often went to his shed to drink and smoke cigarettes.

    “He said he went through a stage of drinking heavily for a few weeks after he realised his marriage was over, but decided that it cost too much, was damaging his health and not helping him to feel better.”

    He did not take drugs other than those he was prescribed.

    At session three, Livingstone told the psychotherapist he had breached a protection order preventing him from seeing Webb.

    He said he wouldn’t do it again, the psychotherapist said.

    “He was very emotional at this time, missing his children and desperate to return home.

    “He recognised that he had hurt his wife a great deal and felt a lot of shame that he had raped her by insisting on sex. He said he was a sex addict, not that he wanted sex that much but that he wanted to feel close to his wife.”

    At session four, Livingstone gave the psychotherapist a typed copy of a recurring dream that he had at the end of 2012, early 2013.

    “The dream appeared to be about the afterlife and he said he was very anxious about it.”

    Livingstone said he did not believe in life after death.

    When Livingstone received a letter from his wife in August 2013 telling him she could not forgive him for the rape and no longer wanted a relationship, he was “gutted but understood why she thought that”.

    On September 18, 2013, Livingstone removed his wedding ring, and said he accepted his marriage was over.

    He told the psychotherapist he had phoned Webb and told her. He did not expect her to ring the police. He was charged with breaching the protection order.

    Livingstone continued to be very emotional until his medication changed. On September 25, he reported feeling much better.

    His said his psychiatrist had told him it was possible the zyban he was taking to help him stop smoking, combined with the anti-depressants, had possibly caused a psychotic episode.

    At session 18 on October 23, Livingstone was very upset and emotional. He had read a statement from his wife and was shocked at how he had been depicted as a “violent alcoholic nutter” in relation to incidents earlier in the year.

    Livingstone said it was “agonising” not seeing his children. He was also worried about his finances, finding a new flat, the impending court case, the possibility of losing his job and not spending Christmas with his children.

    At session 20 on November 6, Livingstone was determined to fight for access to his children. He was excited about going to Christchurch to meet up with a lady he had met.

    The next session Livingstone was very upset. He said he found meeting with his children very difficult while a lady watched. He was also frustrated about struggles he was having getting possessions from his wife. He wanted 50 per cent custody of the children and half the house.

    On December 4, Livingstone was very upset at not being able to attend his children’s school Christmas concert. He was excited that he had a new flat lined up and he was looking forward to his new girlfriend coming to visit. Financially he was still struggling.

    Livingstone’s final meeting with the psychotherapist was on December 18. At the session he said he had given Christmas presents to his children earlier that day and was thrilled. He was hopeful of seeing them on Christmas Day.

    The psychotherapist was taking a break until January 20, so she discussed with Livingstone some stresses that he might face over the Christmas period.

    “He appeared buoyant, hopeful, and looking forward to change in the New Year although frustrated and fearful over events.”

    They also discussed back up psych services if he felt overwhelmed.

    The psychotherapist said she was “deeply shocked” to learn about the shooting.

    Under questioning from Kathryn Dalziel, counsel assisting the coroner, the psychotherapist said she regretted that she had not sought additional information from the Southern District Health Board about Livingstone.

    The District Health Board was “overworked and under resourced” and often struggled to find the time to talk to psychotherapists, she said.

    “But I still should have tried [to get the information].”

    The psychotherapist’s evidence is continuing.

    LIVINGSTONE DRANK BEER UNTIL HE WAS LEGLESS

    Livingstone lived with Philip Mans from June 17, 2013, until January 8, 2014, at a home in Milton near Dunedin. The pair both worked at the Otago Correctional Facility (OCF).

    Mans said the initial arrangement was that Livingstone would move in to his home for two months, because he believed that he and his wife needed to be apart to restore their relationship.

    When Livingstone moved in he told Mans he suffered from “covert depression”.

    Within a couple of weeks he began drinking daily.

    The amounts Livingstone drank increased to a point where he was sometimes so drunk he was unable to stand, Mans said. He would regularly drink more than six large cans of Victorian Bitter in a night.

    Livingstone would become really depressed when he was under the influence of alcohol and told Mans about his domestic situation with Webb.

    He recalled police arriving at his home about four or five months before the shooting and arresting Livingstone.

    Livingstone did not return until the following day and it was only then that Mans learned of a protection order preventing him from contacting Webb.

    About a month after that incident, Livingstone was arrested again after breaching the protection order again. Contact with his children stopped.

    “Ed told me that Kath was preventing him from seeing his children. He became increasingly desperate and would often cry when telling me about this after he had been drinking.”

    Livingstone then met a woman online from Christchurch. “He seemed to pick up after meeting her and I thought that together with his visits to the psychologist he was improving.”

    Livingstone began seeing his children again in November through supervised visits with Barnardos.

    Mans said Livingstone was still drinking heavily and felt his children were estranged from him and their relationship was strained.

    In early December, Mans told Livingstone that he was resigning from OCF and moving to Invercargill at the end of January 2014. Livingstone moved to a rental property on 5 High St on January 8.

    Mans and Livingstone continued to exchange text messages occasionally.

    Mans had a gun licence and owned four guns, including a shotgun, which were kept in a gun safe fixed to a wall in his kitchen.

    The ammunition for the shotgun was kept in Mans’ bedroom drawer. The key to his gun safe was kept in his underwear drawer.

    Mans said Livingstone would have seen him lock the gun safe several times and would have had a fair idea where he kept the key.

    When Livingstone moved out of the house he gave Mans back his house key.

    A spare key that was kept in the laundry had disappeared a few months earlier.

    Mans said the first time he knew the shot gun had been stolen was when police turned up at his house about 1am on January 16, 2014.

    “The officer told me it was Ed and that a shotgun had been used and that he wanted to check my gun safe.”

    The shotgun was missing as were three boxes of ammunition.

    When the officer left, Mans checked around the house but was unable to see any sign of forced entry.

    Earlier, he had arrived home about 9pm and saw one of the curtains at the back sliding door had been pulled open. He usually closed all his curtains.

    The last time he had checked on his firearms was the previous week when he had planned to go shooting rabbits, but didn’t because of the weather.

    ‘NOT SURPRISED’ LIVINGSTONE KILLED HIS KIDS

    Barnardos employee Rebecca Cadogan supervised five of Livingstone’s six arranged visits with his children after he separated from Webb. She did not supervise Livingstone’s final visit on the day of the shooting because she was out of town.

    Cadogan told the court it was clear before the first supervised visit on November 13, 2013, that Bradley and Ellen were reluctant to see Livingstone.

    “Both appeared withdrawn and their mother made a point of telling me they were both scared of Edward.”

    Cadogan did not find the children’s nervousness unnatural because she was aware of Livingstone’s history of family violence and the protection order in place.

    The children’s uneasiness improved over the five sessions Cadogan was present, she said.

    Cadogan said Livingstone initially appeared normal.

    “What I did notice during the sessions was Edward often displayed unusual behaviour and contact seemed to be more about him than the children.

    “He didn’t want to play at their level. He wanted to converse at a level beyond their comprehension,” Cadogan said.

    “Edward did show love and affection towards Bradley and Ellen as well as cuddling and tickling them at times. The children seemed to enjoy this and there was a lot of laughing and smiling during these times.”

    Cadogan said she did not believe Livingstone saw the visits as being about the children, but rather a need that he had to see them.

    “He was emotionally manipulating often telling the children how much he missed them and how hard it was to be separated from them.”

    That was clearly a breach of Barnardos’ visitors rules, Cadogan said.

    She recalled an incident where Livingstone was sick during a session. He became unhappy and aggressive when the session was cut short.

    “I was always aware around Edward as I had seen his potential to be aggressive and unpredictable,” Cadogan said.

    “Despite my uneasiness towards Edward, I did not feel unsafe around him and generally though the sessions were going well.”

    Cadogan said that when she learned that Livingstone had killed his children “I was not surprised”.

    “Part of not being shocked by what he did I suppose is because of his unusual personality. It’s a little hard to explain any more than this, there was something amiss, but at the same time not something I could put my finger on.

    Earlier in the year, Livingstone had given his children bullet casings to give to Webb at a supervised visit, which was not arranged by Barnardos.

    Dr Allan Cooke, who is acting for Barnardos, asked Cadogan what would have happened if a similar incident had happened during one of the visits she supervised.

    “I would have taken it as a threat of extreme violence and I would have ended it [the session] straight away.”

    She said she then would have told her supervisor about the incident.

    Webb’s lawyer asked Cadogan what she meant by her statement that she was not surprised when she learned Livingstone had killed her children.

    Cadogan said it was a “gut reaction”.

    It was based on Livingstone’s reaction when he got sick and the supervised visit was cut short. On that occasion he flicked quickly from being quite emotional and sick to very aggressive.

    “It [killing his children] was not something I thought he was incapable of.”

    LIVINGSTONE’S DEPRESSION ‘ATYPICAL’

    Forensic pathologist Dr David Chaplow conducted a clinical review into the serious adverse event involving Livingstone.

    Chaplow said various people had dealings with Livingstone.

    He was variously seen as self serving, manipulative, an alcohol abuser, and as having features of narcissism and psychopathy.

    Others had a benign view of him; a loving father, steady worker.

    Chaplow said Livingstone’s depression was “atypical”.

    Personality traits suggested Livingstone was a complex person who struggled with relationships and trust, who could be self-absorbed and vindictive on occasions. He appeared to “impression manage” at other times, hence the multifaceted picture of who he was as a person.

    Livingstone’s mood fluctuated with the degree of hope he had concerning the future of his marriage.

    Chaplow said aspects of Livingstone’s care were “inadequate”.

    The review’s main finding was that information held by various clinicians about Livingstone could have been shared better. Five or more parties were working in isolation, none had an expectation of the eventual outcome.

    Collectively they failed to ascertain Livingstone’s danger to Webb.

    He recommended:

    * In cases like Livingstone’s, where police were involved and a restraining order was in place, referral for multi-disciplinary team input should be mandatory.

    * In all cases that are referred to a specialist psychiatrist, a diagnostic formulation leading to a comprehensive management plan should be the expectation.

    “In spite of the recommendations to improve the future quality and assessment and treatment, there was nothing that could have been done that would have changed the end result.”

    Webb’s lawyer Anne Stevens told the inquest Livingstone had been “quite deliberately deceiving” people that were treating him. A previous witness had told the court that he knew the right things to say to the right people, Stevens said.

    “The question is, how does a clinician trust the accuracy of the information the client has given them?”

    Chaplow said most people who sought help genuinely wanted it.

    “If a person deliberately sets out to … deceive all we can do is be aware of that possibility and down the track start to compare notes [with other people]. It does take time to ascertain the truth of the matter.”

    Chaplow said that if Livingstone had told clinicians about thoughts he had of killing his family then he would have been viewed as being dangerous and treated differently.

    If clinicians were made aware of information held by other agencies, including police, he did not know if Livingstone’s treatment would have been different.

    “While our review found plenty of things that could been done better … in a sense, the final decision [to shoot his children and take his own life] was his [Livingstone’s].”

    Blood tests after Livingstone’s death revealed a blood alcohol reading of 43 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, which might have had an effect on him, Chaplow said.

    “It doesn’t help.”

    He confirmed there was no firm diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder.

    LIVINGSTONE ‘SMELLED OF ALCOHOL’

    Mark Godwin, from the Department of Corrections, conducted a review of the department’s handling of Livingstone.

    Livingstone began working at the Otago Correctional Facility in November 2007. He was employed in administration.

    During his recruitment, checksindicated Livingstone had no criminal convictions nor did he declare any.

    Managers were aware Livingstone was going through a marriage break-up prior to August 2013, Godwin said.

    He was offered assistance, but declined because he was already receiving counselling and psychiatric help and was on medication.

    On August 8, 2013, Livingstone advised Corrections he had been arrested and charged for breaching a protection order, Goodwin said.

    That was the first time the department became aware of the protection order.

    Livingstone was granted special leave to allow him to prepare for the case and to support him as “he appeared to be in a fragile state of mind”. Livingstone returned to work later that month.

    On September 18, he advised the Department he had again been arrested.

    In the lead up, it had been noted that Livingstone had been turning up to work looking “dishevelled” and there was a suggestion from other members of staff that he had sometimes smelt of alcohol.

    On September 20, he was stood down for 48 hours pending a decision about suspension as a result of “serious misconduct”.

    The unavailability of the prison manager meant the suspension was extended.

    On September 27, Livingstone’s suspension was confirmed on the basis that being charged with an offence was a serious matter and the arrest was a repetition of a similar incident.

    During October, Livingstone’s suspension was lifted and he was allowed to return to work.

    This decision was based on an assessment that a return to work was in Livingstone’s best interests.

    After Livingstone was sentenced on November 15, the Corrections’ employment investigation continued.

    The prison manager reached the view that Livingstone’s actions had breached the department’s code of conduct and therefore constituted a serious misconduct. Livingstone received a final written warning on December 9.

    Godwin told the inquest the reason Livingstone was not dismissed was in part because of the outcome of the court case where he was discharged without conviction.

    If Livingstone had been convicted of an offence the outcome might have been different.

    Godwin said that if Corrections had known about Livingstone’s historic arson conviction when he was being recruited, he would have been questioned about it. It may have had a bearing on him being employed.

    During the recruitment process now, potential employees were asked to disclose if they had any overseas convictions, Godwin said.

    A new trans-Tasman information sharing agreement also made it easier for New Zealand police to carry out background checks on people who had lived in Australia.

    In a submission in relation to the code of conduct inquiry dated 24 September 2013, Livingstone wrote: “To say the last six months has not been easy for me would be an understatement.

    “Separation from a love relationship that involves children is very painful, actually the most painful event that I have ever experienced, but I have arrived at a point in my life where I accept that I have to start to rebuild my life, my social circles and friendships, and build from past mistakes and the lessons they have provided me.”

    He finished the letter with: “My past has past, and I look forward to the future now (sic).”

    KEY POINTS FROM DAY TWO

    * Southern District Commander Andrew Coster said police had failed to pick up red flags in the case and the Criminal Investigation Branch should have investigated an allegation, admitted by Livingstone, that he had brutally raped his wife Katharine in May, 2013. The police effort was well intentioned but inadequate and too much weight had been given to Katharine Webb’s wishes.

    Livingstone should not have been considered eligible for diversion and police should have pursued the allegation despite the victim’s desire not to pursue the allegation. Steps had been taken to address the failures, he said, with a specialist investigation unit set up.

    * Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis, of the Dunedin police, admitted a series of significant failings by police staff who dealt with Livingstone and his family in the months before the shooting. Police had failed to follow-up in a timely way information Livingstone had an arson conviction in Australia. Bullet casings Livingstone gave to his children at a supervised visit and then handed to police should have been investigated.

    * Livingstone drove to the Kiwi St property with a red fuel container full of petrol, a shotgun stolen from his former flatmate and ammunition. There were beers in the car, but blood tests would later show he was not over the legal limit. Livingstone entered the house through a side door using a key before shooting his children in their bedrooms.

    * Police investigations showed Livingstone claimed he was abused at a boys’ school in Sydney and had a violent father. His mother left the family when he was very young. He has a younger sister called Suzanne.

    * Police received information, probably on August 8 last year, that Livingstone was harassing his former wife’s neighbour by phone calls and text messages mainly wanting to know if his wife was still wearing her wedding ring. Police were also told Livingstone was sneaking around his former family home when his wife was at work. The informant (name suppressed) told police Livingstone was, “f…… nuts”.

    * The general practitioner treating Livingstone says she doubts the drugs she prescribed on May 16, 2013 (zyban and escitalopram) could have caused a psychotic episode leading him to rape his wife. He had not reported problems with past use of zyban. Livingstone’s psychiatrist Chris Wisely believes Livingstone had an adverse reaction to the drugs that led to the rape his wife. The couple separated after the rape.

    KEY POINTS FROM DAY ONE

    * Katharine Webb said Edward Livingstone raped her in May 2013 shortly before they separated. She did not pursue charges because she wanted to focus on getting out of the house and keeping her children safe. She knew where to go for help if needed.

    * In 2013, Livingstone twice (August 6-7 and September 14) breached a protection order preventing him from contacting Webb in the months before the shooting. He obtained police diversion on one charge and a discharge without conviction on the other.

    * Livingstone had an historic conviction for arson in Australia dating back to 1988. The court heard he set fire to his former fiance’s home after coming home to find her in bed with another man.

    * Livingstone gave bullet casings to his children during a supervised visit after he separated from Webb.

    * Livingstone told associates he had thoughts about killing his family and himself in the months before the shooting. Livingstone’s neighbour Mel Foot said she contacted police in August 2013 and told them that Livingstone had talked about killing his family. Foot alleged the complaint was never followed up by police.

    * Psychiatrist Christopher Wisely was unaware of Livingstone’s historic conviction for arson or the incident involving the bullet casings. If Wisely had known it may have altered the risk assessment he gave to a judge at a sentencing hearing at Dunedin District Court on November 15, 2013, in relation to the second breach of the protection order. Livingstone was discharged without conviction.

    * Police prosecutor Sergeant Kate Saxton said she was not fully aware of Livingstone’s criminal offending in Australia at the time of the hearing. She could have sought an adjournment on the matter until she was sent all the information, but decided not to. Interpol sent her a copy of Livingstone’s Australian criminal history on December 9. Saxton conceded that the information could have altered the outcome of the sentencing.

    * Saxton also told the court that Livingstone should not have received diversion for the first breach of the protection order. Diversion was not available for breaching a court order, she said.

    * Wisely said Edward Livingstone sourced the shotgun used in the shooting from a former flatmate’s home. The flatmate did not know Livingstone had taken the gun until police came to his home after the shooting.

    Source

  132. Allan Harvey says:

    This hearing raises a lot of questions for me.
    For example; During supervised contact Ed gives both his children bullet shells with a verbal message to pass on to mum.
    A Psychotherapist (with name suppression) writes to the Court saying he is not a violent man even after her acknowledges rape. The same therapist has spent 24 sessions with the man over less than 24 weeks and yet she doesn’t raise alarm, or seek more support for her client.
    The employer isolates the guy on suspension and how does that benefit him (or his kids)
    I think we can predict the coroner will find this man failed society which isn’t surprising given he is the most significant party in Court who is unrepresented. History (and coroners reports) are all written by those left standing.
    The suicide note is pretty explicit but I bet it is largely ignored as the ravings of a mad man. Clearly he was mad as his actions were not rationale but I wonder what made him mad. Perhaps it was a chess game played by lawyers who treated both him and his children as mere pawns and six minute units of time?

  133. Downunder says:

    I think we can predict the coroner will find this man failed society which isn’t surprising given he is the most significant party in Court who is unrepresented. History (and coroners reports) are all written by those left standing.

    Suicide was in the past a criminal investigation. You raise an interesting point Allan in this day and age should the deceased be represented at a Coroner’s hearing, given that ‘he’ as is most often the case, may be totally isolated from family and friends.

  134. Allan Harvey says:

    I think it is very clear that Ed Livingston was isolated. He was isolated from his family of origion, he was isolated from his children, he was suspended from his employment, he lived away from where he had spent most of the past 10 years.
    We are hearing he tried to form links with mental health professionals. He had a new relationship in Christchurch he found on-line but the distance made that difficult to impossible.
    The question remains if he had more support could things have been different. Unfortunately the questions asked by many are if we had been more controlling of Ed, had we locked him up where he worked, if we restricted his contact with his children even more could things be different. It is a strange world.

  135. Man X Norton says:

    Although our protection order regime and the unrealistic, male-denigrating thinking underlying this regime were clearly major causes of this tragedy (but that won’t come out in the coroner’s assessment), there were poor and incompetent decisions made by other key players. Police knew Mr Livingstone was involved with mental health services and were told that he had voiced homicidal and suicidal ideation involving plans with specific details about killing his children and himself. He had previously been convicted in Australia of burning down an ex-partner’s house. Such information should have raised the strongest red flags and should have been treated with utmost gravity. If police had communicated the information to the mental health service this could have been followed up competently. The factors leading him to form such ideation would then have been explored and alternative coping methods identified. The inconsistencies between his violent ideation and what he had been saying to his psychiatrist and counsellor would have become clear, and a better informed assessment made of his risk. It may have resulted in him being put under the Mental Health Act for safety and to allow support to be provided for him to develop safe and appropriate ways of addressing his frustrations. (Unfortunately as we all know, those safe and appropriate ways are not very likely to work very well when it comes to males dealing with our Family Court, but it was still quite likely that informed support for Mr Livingstone would be capable of turning him away from his homicidal intentions.)

    Police clearly showed ignorance and inadequacy in dealing with the information they received about Mr Livingstone’s violent ideation. They did not appear to realise that when a person voices clear, specific and realistic plans this indicates much higher risk than when vague or unrealistic ideas are expressed. At the very least they should have informed the mother and worked with her and the children to increase their protection and safety. Police should have been aware that there were guns in the house that Mr Livingstone was living in and they should perhaps have removed those weapons temporarily.

  136. The Logical Song says:

    Only idiots, liars or the great brainwashed don’t realise that the only dangerous mental health issues are those who have sadistic, psychopathic or social engineering aspirations.

    There are two kinds of people: Kind people and cruel people who do cruel things “for their own good”.

    Only psychopaths think you have to be cruel to be kind or the end justifies the means.

    Anything other thatn 50/50 parent/child living arrangements between willing children and their biological parents is kidnapping and the most extreme of child abuse. Anyone who thinks otherwise has an ulterior motive.

    Children have been held hostage against their will for years due to an admitted perjury in court, without any real violence by men being committed, while violence committed by females is ignored.

    This case and many others, that are not hard to find, that are obviously unjust and biased, proves that all those in police, lawyers, judges and lawmakers who defined anything as ‘domestic violence’ are corrupt child abusing paedophiles, as all of them are well aware of many injustices against men and children, and they do nothing to punish those women and judges responsible and prevent it happening again.

    Family court and Child services are paedophile organisations that must be disbanded as it is well proven that children are safest in 50/50 care/ownership of their creators.

    Any ‘mens advocates’ whom are not fighting for 50/50 automatic custody unless the children and a jury of their peers says otherwise, are gatekeepers for the system and need to be shunned.

    Any ‘mens advocates’ or media or polluticians, or police or CYF, whom are talking about ‘mental health issues’ of parents while ignoring the obvious psychopathy, sadism, paedophilia and money laundering in family court that causes all sorts of social problems, child abuse and kidnapping by the ‘government’, is not on the side of fathers and children.

    Anyone whom is not fighting to get rid of the human rights abusing and removing ‘Protection’ Orders which are given without any crime being committed against the ‘protected’ (attacking) mother who applies for them, is not interested in the ‘best interests of the child’

  137. Man X Norton says:

    The Logical Song (#138): Not much of this seems relevant to the Livingstone case. Not much of it makes sense either. The Livingstone case in no way provides proof that police, lawyers, judges and lawmakers are paedophiles. This and other of your assertions are not rational. Is it possible you are using the word ‘paedophile’ in some manner other than its definition?

    Anyway, there are three kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.

  138. Francis Richards says:

    Someone mentioned that in the US there is “shared parenting.”
    Yes, unless there are retained attorneys in the case, and the
    parents own a house or other valuable asset. Then it is a
    race between counsel to file the first tactical complaint for
    an ex parte TPO (tactical protection order) in the domestic
    violence unit, which is automatically granted in nearly all cases,
    and this is followed by consent by the targeted parent, under
    duress, to a one-year CPO with supervised visits, followed by
    family court probation and permanent, often total injunctions
    on parenting. It is the same formula used in nearly every US
    state. Some states such as Indiana and Nevada have implemented
    rules of family court requiring inter-parent communication and
    mediation at every stage of the court process, but exceptions
    to these Rules are vague enough for a family lawyer to drive
    a mack truck through. Even in Indiana, a top notch family
    lawyer can create massive, intense, life-long conflict/litigation
    within almost any family court case he/she handles. In the US, judges
    are often elected, and none are formally trained to be judges,
    and often know nothing about conflict analysis/resolution, parenting,
    and most of them never follow the golden rule to facilitate mediation,
    let parents work it out (never make a ruling, if really skilled), and
    above all, treat parents equally for the benefit of the child. Maybe
    1 in a thousand FC judges follow these simple rules to protect the children,
    and their parents, from the family lawyers.

    Background: Family law has always been a blood sport in the
    US, with children treated as chattel in most family courts still.
    US family courts remain one of the leading causes of adult suicides
    and homicides in the US, not even counting the child fatalities, all
    caused by untrained/unskilled family court judges. In the US from
    around 1900-1950, the mom was locked up/out and/or annihilated in
    marital dissolution cases. From around 1950-2000, the father was locked
    up/out and annihilated by family court judges upon marital dissolution.
    Since around 2000, in marital dissolution cases involving large assets
    (e.g., a house), family court judges go after either the mother
    OR the father, in order to declare a winner/loser. At the start of
    the cases, many family court judges will help their friends/colleagues,
    retained lawyers, to block/prevent inter-parent communication and mediation/
    settlement, especially in marital dissolution involving children. It is
    big business. In the US, the custody and support cases are ordinarily
    designed with conflict built into each family court order, and the
    child-harming litigation continues until the assets of both parents
    are gone and the child reaches 21. But, these barbaric practices
    will eventually be exposed and reformed, and the judges will be
    required by law to be formally trained as judges, and to be highly
    skilled and trained in parenting, childhood development, mediation,
    and conflict resolution. This is because state legislatures are
    comprised, for the most part, of human beings, not family lawyers.

  139. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Man X Norton,

    if I try to translate, shades of grey have been seen as black and white. People I might call relationship vandals are called paedophiles, as they damage children. Ostensibly they are there to protect children from damage. Francis Richards’s comment above describes such damage in great detail.

    Your comment of

    no sense

    , ignores the black and white view and the coded use of words.

    I have earlier discussed black and white versus grey, but made no progress. I usually try to comment neutrally, in a way that a reader might then be helped to apply the ideas for their own situation, in a relevant and useful way. (I also challenge sometimes, so these comments may be way off fair and neutral. I hope these times are obvious) I try to be fair, so that any reader might be able to see some value in the ideas presented and be more likely to put a little effort to understand them and gain use from them. Without that, communication seems to be wasted effort.

    I have then been criticised for neutral statements, on the basis that I am not fighting hard enough. I am an old guy, practically dead my children remind me when needed, so I have the freedom to not take on board that criticism. Actually, I see it as more tortoise and hare, I plod slowly, I hope in the right direction and try to persuade others to put in consistent, unrelenting effort. I have seen many hares rush past…. but little seems to be achieved, either way. (Not a snide comment on Labour’s Dear Leader.) I cannot see much value in black and white analyses – this is exactly what I criticise the clowns in familycaught$ for. Similar criticism.

    Having said that, I share The Logical Song’s disappointment at the lack of constructive change in familycaught$, now over almost 40 years. This horrifies me greatly. Greed wins over care for the moment, but never for ever.

    I hear so much complaining, from women’s groups, from men’s groups, yet so many of those people are not willing to follow through on a serious conversation about what to replace the familycaught$ with, that could serve consumers fairly and cost effectively. My 2c.

    I hope that I have translated faithfully and in a way to pull people together, to discuss?

    Cheers, MurrayBacon.

  140. MurrayBacon says:

    #130 Man X Norton’s comment above, sums up all of these DVPO issues precisely and succinctly!

  141. Depleted says:

    Quote Potter;

    “Psychotropic drugs” include abused recreational drugs like methamphetamines which I agree can contribute to violence.
    There is certainly an association between psychiatric drugs and violence, but this does not prove that these drugs cause violence. The association is because a high proportion of mentally unwell, potentially violent people are taking some kind of medication these days.

    God I love hearing psychologists trying to justify their non-proffession with this kind of twaddle.
    “Oh sure all the nasty unprescribed drugs are bad and will trash your head 100% m’kay, but if we write you a script it is the holy grail and the only thing that will save your life m’kay, there might be alot of people that lose the plot and do completely out-of-character things while taking these drugs but theres no way of proving its the drugs (or psychiatrists) fault – so no come-backs m’kay?”
    Farcical childish hypocrisy.

    ANY drug will destabilise your bio-chemistry to some degree in some way and have an effect on you be it caffiene, codeine or methamphetamine … having a rubber stamp from government cavorting with pharmaceutical giants claiming their product is “safe” should be NO comfort to ANYONE, infact MANY pharmaceutical companies are guilty of committing crimes (murder) via pre-meditated misrepresentation of their products and unscientific manipulation of research data – for which any one individual would be in jail for life as a result – Bayer comes to mind immediately.

    Go look at the stats for mass-murders in the States, almost exclusively popping your happily prescribed seritonin re-uptake inhibitors (SRI’s) Xanax/Prozac/Zoloft etc – and quietly going out of their gourds until they pop themselves and others.
    The fact its openly admitted within psychiatry that dosages and effects of pharmaceuticals swing so unpredictably from individual to individual just speaks volumes to the fact that the psychiatric *cough* “profession” is rolling the dice and taking chances with the well being of anyone they are *cough* “treating”.

    Quote Potter;

    There is also a major campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to deflect blame on the role of guns in recent mass shootings.

    Yeah – coz those pesky firearms are responsible for so much carnage all by themselves, they walk around randomly shooting people ALL by themselves, … best we ban wheels too – then we can all save the lives of people killed/maimed in car-crashes each year.
    Crazy person running around wacked out on prescription meds or a sane rational law abiding individual who owns firearms, doesn’t matter right – the result would always be the same right? What utter, utter, nonsense.

    The United States of America has a BEAUTIFULLY crafted constitution that enshrines their rights to own firearms for defense against enemy without – and indeed their own government within should it become tyrannical, fantastic, – the guys way back then IN POWER at the time realised that THEY were not omnipotent and that government SHOULD be by mandate of the people BUT with respect to the rights of the individual AND that governments have the VERY real potential to be corrupted by evil people – the US founding fathers we very vocal in their warnings to future generations to be very vigilant of that in particular.

    Interesting that psychiatrists are almost unanimously and virulently anti-firearms in keeping with most governments agenda nowdays to dis-arm the populations of the countries they laughably claim to represent, “disarmed? …far easier to subjugate you with my dear.”
    Interesting further that psychiatry has constantly been the tool of governments around the world to PUNISH dissenters, … don’t agree with the government and everything they advocate? Well you must be crazy right? You belong in an asylum with opinions like that right?
    Your extreme examples are in places like Soviet Russia and China but more and more in Western countries as well – including N.Z.

    I’ve personally come across psychologists in my dealings with the family court and you are all remarkably predictable in your ability to produce vast amounts of paper work that infact says NOTHING then recommending skewed actions based on that nothing.
    One idiot shrink even had the stupidity to interview my ex’s and my offspring INFRONT of my ex (a judge had already recognised my ex was engaged in a campaign of domineering parental alienation) – and then your colleague Potter, had the cajones to present the results of the interview as if it was all to be taken as gospel.

    Thanks for outing yourself as a psychiatrist Potter – you’ve just been honest enough to tell everyone here that you have come along with a fully loaded self-centred agenda to maintain the status quo, line your own pockets and ensure nothing changes.

  142. John Brett says:

    Dear Depleted-
    I have known John Potter over 20 years. John is most certainly NOT he is most certainly NOT a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

    Do you actually know the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists? The latter are Medical doctors (subject to professional discipline) to able to prescribe drugs, just the same as your doctor. Psychologists are restricted to ‘talking cures’ or such therapy.

    I, by the way, am a father, a grandfather, and a mechanical engineer- so I am not pushing drugs on anyone.

  143. Man X Norton says:

    Depleted (#143): Your invective against John Potter seems to have little relevance to men’s issues and is not even linked back to the topic of this thread.

    Can you refer us to the evidence for your claim that mass murderers in the States, almost exclusively have been on prescribed antidepressant medication?

    Can you refer us to the evidence for your claim that psychiatrists are almost unanimously and virulently anti-firearms?

    Can you refer us to the evidence that “psychiatry has constantly been the tool of governments around the world to PUNISH dissenters, … don’t agree with the government and everything they advocate? Well you must be crazy right?”?

    I am truly interested in seeing the research that led to these claims.

    I have no particular wish to support psychiatry and indeed I am critical of its arrogance on occasions, but I will concede that it makes life much better for a large number of people who previously would remain chronically unwell and imprisoned in institutions for their own and others’ safety. I remember those times.

    Mr Livingstone was fundamentally dishonest with his mental health team, so one can’t expect them to have been much help.

  144. Downunder says:

    Mr Livingstone was fundamentally dishonest with his mental health team, so one can’t expect them to have been much help.

    That’s a big call.

    If you don’t trust the people you’re dealing with, you’ll rely on instinct and self preservation.

    When you think about the position that Livingstone had ended up in why would he trust people who simply wanted to medicate it’s continuation.

    The suggestion that he was fundamentally dishonest suggests that ‘they’ and their drugs/therapy were the only cure – that of course may not have been how Livingstone viewed the situation.

  145. Man X Norton says:

    Downunder (#146): No, neither a big call nor a suggestion, just a factual statement. Mr Livingstone was fundamentally dishonest with his mental health team. He was experiencing strong homicidal and suicidal ideation to the point of serious planning that he talked about with friends but withheld from those who were trying and had the expertise to help him. Without truthful self-disclosure no helping agency can be expected to be of much help. If you tell your mechanic that your car’s problem is wobbly steering when the true problem is stalling on a hot engine, don’t expect the true problem to be addressed.

    In referring to his dishonesty there is no suggestion that the mental health service held the only potential cure, and I don’t see your flow of reasoning there. There may have been all manner of better ways he could have been helped effectively but if so he didn’t access them or they didn’t work. Realistically though, very few people or services would be more capable than mental health services of responding protectively, effectively and therapeutically to someone whose mind is concluding the best way forward is to murder his children and kill himself.

    His reasons for choosing to be dishonest are another matter. If he did not trust his mental health team, this could have been because he knew they would be obliged to try to prevent him from carrying out his plan.

    How do you know his mental health team “simply wanted to medicate” the continuation of the position Livingstone was in? It’s quite likely that efforts were made to help him find ways of addressing and improving his situation. Mental health services in NZ are not in some conspiracy to make people more compliant with injustice whether from their spouses or the state, but equally they don’t have the power and are not employed to police spouses’ actions or to rewrite the law. It’s quite likely that mental health workers sympathized with Mr Livingstone and disapproved of various factors contributing to his distressing situation. Actually, from the evidence reported it seemed likely that they were too sympathetic towards him and his account of the situation, and that blinded them to signs of his truly dangerous state of mind.

  146. Downunder says:

    My objection is with the fundamentally ‘dishonest’.

    Withholding your personal information, doesn’t make you dishonest.

    Non disclosure for fear (real or otherwise)of an outcome doesn’t make you dishonest.

    Wanting a different outcome doesn’t make you dishonest.

    Having a lack of mental health doesn’t make you dishonest.

    When you start talking fundamentally dishonest you’re talking about a lack of truth and morality on his part.

    When we start dishing out that level of blame how can we ever be objective about how Livingstone ended up in the space he did.

  147. Man X Norton says:

    It was dishonest for him to pretend to mental health staff that he was ok. He will have been asked about his feelings and thoughts and he will have told them things like “I am fine thanks; I am coping with my situation; the medication is helping a lot doc; I’m feeling forgiving towards my ex; I am no risk.” when he knew he was actually thinking about and planning to murder his children. That is definitely a lack of truth and morality. It was dishonest, fundamentally so in relation to his (voluntary) participation with the mental health team.

  148. Downunder says:

    Man X Norton This guy was under no obligation to discuss or disclose his feelings to the mental health team regardless of what they were.

    What he thought about is beside the point, yes, he had no moral grounds for ending the lives of his children.

    He did choose to discuss his feelings with those people closest to him, which may indicate a trust issue based on his previous experience.

    If there is a moral failing it is the failure of those closet to him to help a fellow human being, and that comes about with the belief that it’s all up to the State and we can just walk away from that responsibility.

    We are all qualified to help – you don’t have to be some sort of professional to change people’s world overnight.

  149. Allan Harvey says:

    We are all qualified to help – you don’t have to be some sort of professional to change people’s world overnight.

    I agree we can all help. The demonisation of Ed Livingstone will continue as Ed is not able to defend himself. The easy stance is the one Man X Norton (and Woman’s Refuge et al) take. Ed was evil, he was bad, he needed to be de-powered and controlled, He should have been locked up (and key thrown away) for the “breaches” of the Protection Order he was alleged to have committed.
    I know lots of people like Ed, in my view he is not uncommon. Some women I work with also have similar deluded thinking. Ed took his delusions, his frustration, his isolation, his exclusion from family, work and society badly. He did the courses, he took legal and psychiatric advice. He attempted to rebuild. Ed even formed a therapeutic relationship with a psychotherapist on more than a weekly basis for over 6 months and this “professional” felt so confident she wrote to the Court saying he didn’t have a violent bone in his body.
    The questions I ask is what makes Ed different than the many I have worked with? What makes him different from those who turn their violence against themselves and suicide? In the 13 years I have been active in this work just one chap I have directly worked with has been suicidal or homicidal. Is that luck? Might it be that “we are all qualified to help” and to listen and be with people when they are down?

    We need to take real care in demonising Ed Livingstone. Many have lived his fear, felt his frustration, suffered his exclusion. He was a Dad who loved his children and in the end his bizarre thinking robbed both him and his children of life.

    We need to all celebrate life, and listening ears and being there when life gets tough for us all. The old time religion often said; “There go I but by the grace of God”. Please don’t let us forget Ed and his children. We need to do more to ensure help is available when people need it. Kia Kaha!

  150. Man X Norton says:

    If you read my replies in this thread you will see that I certainly do not demonize Livingstone, nor have I taken an “easy stance” claiming that “he needed to be de-powered and controlled” or locked up for alleged breaches of the protection order. Please don’t misrepresent my position.

    Nevertheless, it remains true that he was dishonest with his mental health team including the psychotherapist. So dishonest that after 6 months of at least weekly sessions she still was not given an honest account of his thinking and attitude. Quite likely, he was an arch manipulator who pursued a deliberate agenda to get the psychotherapist to trust he was safe, which he clearly was not.

    The friends to whom he did let out his true intentions told the police and were justified in expecting that police would act on that information properly. They did not.

    As I stated in reply #136:

    If police had communicated the information to the mental health service this could have been followed up competently. The factors leading him to form such ideation would then have been explored and alternative coping methods identified. The inconsistencies between his violent ideation and what he had been saying to his psychiatrist and counsellor would have become clear, and a better informed assessment made of his risk. It may have resulted in him being put under the Mental Health Act for safety and to allow support to be provided for him to develop safe and appropriate ways of addressing his frustrations.

  151. Allan Harvey says:

    Man X Norton you claim far too much knowledge for yourself. Words like “dishonest”, “arch manipulator”, “deliberate agenda”, “trust he was safe”, “clearly was not”, “true intentions” are hugely value laden assumptions you make.
    At the weekly meetings I hold; I suspect every week people coming for support are telling a story with spin, massage “truth”, have an agenda, are unpredictable, have mixed motives and are not able to be even clear with themselves. It takes time working with people to reduce barriers, build trust and share stories. It takes time and supportive community to be the best people and parents we can be.
    You claim Ed was clear with “friends about his true intentions” well I disagree. Almost every week we help one or more climb down from foolish rhetoric, threats, over the top statements. I might often say I could kill for a beer but I have yet to be that thirsty to act on my words. What Ed said in anger did eventuate probably because of the lack of support he was able to find. I hope that what I hear in anger can be reworked and that energy channeled into positive parenting. That is why I believe in this work and persist in doing it.
    I do know the psychiatrist involved in this Livingstone case and I have a lot of time for his work. The privately engaged psychotherapist who has name suppression before the Coroner’s Court however does seem to have not done a good job in this case.
    I think we need to wait until the Coroner’s Report comes out before jumping to unhelpful conclusions. I hope the Coroner takes a wide view on what can be learnt from this case as well. Unfortunately Man X Norton’s posts are demonising both Ed and many other men who also walk in the same lonely gloom of depression, self-sabotage, guilt and regret.

  152. Man X Norton says:

    Allan Harvey ((#153): Please read my reply #130 above. My posts don’t demonize Livingstone and they don’t make any mention at all of “many other men” much less demonize them. Your post uses emotive manipulation to misrepresent what my posts are saying simply because you don’t like the truth.

    You have no more basis to be sure of your portrayal than I do.

    However, much is evident. Livingstone lied to his mental health team. That is not an assumption. He was dangerous. That is not an assumption. I do not recall writing he “was clear with friends about his true intentions” (another misrepresentation by you). I did write that he let out his true intentions to his friends; this may or may not have been very clear. That they were his true intentions was borne out by what he went on to do. My reference to ‘arch manipulator’ and ‘deliberate agenda’ were prefaced by “Quite likely..”, not something I claimed to know was the case. However, it’s a reasonable conclusion given the circumstances.

    The irrationality and assumptions being directed towards my quite reasonable posts are hard to believe.

  153. Man X Norton says:

    Downunder (#150): I believe you are correct that Livingstone “was under no obligation to discuss or disclose his feelings to the mental health team regardless of what they were”. Similarly, you would have a legal right to turn a blind eye to your neighbour’s house being ransacked, his/her children being raped and murdered, or to some acquaintance informing you (s)he planned to carry out those crimes. You would be under no obligation to try to intervene or even to call the police. At least you are correct in a legal sense, but not a moral one in any serious moral code I have come across.

    What he thought about is beside the point

    No, it was central to ‘the point’ because it is more or less what he actually ended up doing. He was thinking and planning about murdering the children and he acted on those thoughts and carried out his plan.

    If there is a moral failing it is the failure of those closet to him to help a fellow human being, and that comes about with the belief that it’s all up to the State and we can just walk away from that responsibility.

    I would say there were many moral failings. The moral failings of a foolish, cruel and provocative protection order system. The moral failings of a bitter ex-wife prepared to deprive a father of contact with his children. The moral failings of laws and courts that punished a father for normal, benign, loving behaviour simply because it ‘breached a protection order’. And the moral failings of a man who knew he was thinking about a planning to kill children but failed to take the opportunities readily available to seek help in a realistic and intentional way by speaking honestly about his thoughts. I disagree with you that his friends showed any moral failure at all; they informed the police of his expressed thoughts and plan and they were justified in expecting the police would follow this up properly. You will have no knowledge about what further help, support and advice his friends tried to provide to him personally. They would have broken the law if they had tried to provide the kind of help that could have saved the children’s lives; they could not legally have restrained his movements or monitored him closely to ensure he was not going to murder his children. Nowadays we are obliged to leave such actions up to those agents of the state given the relevant legal powers.

    We are all qualified to help – you don’t have to be some sort of professional to change people’s world overnight.

    That is true, but the fact is that the help Livingstone needed was demonstrably beyond the capabilities of those to whom he had truthfully expressed his thoughts and intentions, and even beyond the police who were then informed. Those people who had the ability to provide effective help were in the dark about his thoughts and intentions, mainly because he had misled them.

  154. Allan Harvey says:

    Man X Norton I think you are quite ignorant about what contact Ed had with “his mental health team” as you call it. He did avail himself of several sessions of counselling provided for him by his employer (Corrections). He did have some contact with Dr Wisely (I think 2 consults are the evidence to the inquest). Presumably he had a GP but we don’t know much about that connection at this stage. The only significant contact was with the private psychologist who while presumably being of some support to Ed (I assume they were being paid by him) but they clearly missed a lot and probably challanged him little. I expect the Coroner will have quite a bit more to say about this therapist in their report.
    Your understanding about sectioning under the mental health act (post 136) also seems to lack understanding. Someone has to be pretty bizarre to getsectioned for assessment purposes. There is also the fact that Ed was a corrections staff member, he was the property officer at Otago Regional and that I think has significance. My experience of working with corrections officers (and police) in this kind of situation is that those with experience of incarceration from one side have an abnormally high fear of ever being on the other side. My own experience of lock-up wards is that they are even more depressing places than prisons. At least in prison some of the inmates have a level of sanity and you can experience some fraternity and normality.
    Yes your post 130 shows some insight, I wonder why you now seem to be happy to assume Ed did other than suggested to him by his legal counsel when speaking to a psychiatrist.
    I have done as much research as I have been able to on this case. I think Ed could have been better supported by his workmates, employer, community, family (although there wasn’t much other than his ex wife and children) etc. My main message as is Downunder’s is that we each can do our bit to assist the Ed Livingstones’s of this world to cope with what life sends their way, to be a listening ear, to offer support and encourangement. If we can add some inspiration then that is good as well.

  155. Allan Harvey says:

    Dr Wisely told the Coroner Ed was very open about himself and his situation.
    He reported that Ed did acknowledge suicidal thoughts and possibly even homicidal thoughts but that there were not sustained.
    Your post in 130 seems to critisie Kath. She had been through a lot.
    She was aware of his arson conviction and the jealous rage he showed with that separation in Australia.
    She supported Ed through a major mental health crisis in 2006.
    In 2013 even after she had been assualted, imprisoned and raped over 4-5 hours she supported Ed in seeing Dr Wisely and even attending the interview with him.
    The greatest insight we can get into Ed’s thinking on 15 January is the suicide note. There he passes some blame to Kath (Justification?) but also exhibits that more common view told by survisors of these depths that he thought he was doing Bradley and Ellen a favour in his action(s).
    I await the Coroner’s Report which will be siginifcant like the Bristol case aftermath.

  156. Man X Norton says:

    Allan, it’s commendable that you have looked as closely as possible at information about this case, on behalf of men going through NZ’s male-abusive family separation processes. It’s not commendable to misrepresent and try to diminish others on this site who offer perspectives and their own wisdom.

    Dr Wisely made it very clear that Livingstone misled him and others.

    The fact that Livingstone had a history of jealous rage and quite extreme post-separation violence could have encouraged him to be more honest about his ideation and to genuinely seek help to keep himself safe. He didn’t. Instead, he convinced a therapist to believe there wasn’t a violent bone in his body! That implies that he did not even disclose his previous post-separation violence to her. One of the lessons to be taken from this will be that adopting an over-supportive attitude towards post-separation partners, too ready to buy into their self-portrayals as innocent and harmless victims of their post-separation treatment, may not be wise in the absence of realistic assessment of risk and awareness that some people are capable of sustained, self-serving deceit.

    I understand sectioning under the MHA all too well, and here is another assumption you make and another attempt to diminish another poster here, actually from your position of poor understanding. Someone under mental health treatment who discloses homicidal ideation to the point of detailed planning would readily be placed under the act. Being placed under that act, depending on the section applied, need not involve lock up wards but if so usually involves quite short periods. Are you suggesting that being contained briefly is less desirable than two children being murdered? However, my post #136 talked first about supporting him in the knowledge of his thoughts and plans, exploring alternative coping methods and assessing his risk more adequately, with the MHA being only one possible option. The point I keep making is that his mental health support people could not be expected to assist him in remaining safe if he was misleading them about his true state and thoughts, which he undoubtedly was.

    My main message as is Downunder’s is that we each can do our bit to assist the Ed Livingstones’s of this world to cope with what life sends their way, to be a listening ear, to offer support and encourangement. If we can add some inspiration then that is good as well.

    Livingstone had at least one regular listening ear offering support and encouragement, but he lied to her. He appeared also to have friends and colleagues offering support and encouragement. That’s great, but in this case it was demonstrably not enough. Your blame of his workmates, employer, community etc and your unwillingness to hold him accountable for misleading those who could actually have kept him safe, are not credible. What was needed was professional expertise in order to address psychological vulnerability and personality issues that made him extremely dangerous. But professionals can’t actually read minds and if they are misled about the true symptoms cannot be expected to be effective.

    A very important message from this to all men experiencing the trauma of separation is encouragement for them to seek support in a genuine way if they believe they might be getting close to carrying out violent reactions.

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