13 Apr 2016

Photos of WINZ murderer released

7:25 am on 13 April 2016

Chilling pictures have emerged showing double-murderer Russell John Tully in the Ashburton Work and Income Office during his killing spree in 2014.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Some readers may find the images, which appear at the bottom of this page, disturbing.

The CCTV images, released by the High Court in Christchurch, show him wearing a black balaclava, armed with a gun and making his way through the office. In one of them he appears to be checking his weapon before going through double glass doors.

Media applied for the photos to be released after the 49-year-old was found guilty of murdering two Ashburton Work and Income employees, Peggy Noble and Leigh Cleveland, following a trial, in March.

110914. Photo facebook. Ashburton WINZ shooting victim Peggy Noble

Ashburton WINZ shooting victim Peggy Noble Photo: Facebook tribute page

The High Court gave the four photos to media this afternoon after prosecutors and the Ministry of Social Development, who both opposed the release of the photos, did not appeal the decision to make them available.

Tully was found guilty at the High Court in Christchurch for the shooting which took place in the Work and Income office on 1 September 2014.

He was also found guilty of attempting to murder case manager Kim Adams, but was found not guilty of attempting to murder Lindy Curtis, who was shot in the leg.

Tully's face is covered by the balaclava in all of the four pictures released. They do not show anyone else in the office.

GRAPHIC WARNING: Some readers may find these images disturbing.

Photo: Supplied

GRAPHIC WARNING: Some readers may find these images disturbing.

Photo: Supplied

GRAPHIC WARNING: Some readers may find these images disturbing.

Photo: Supplied

Security at Work and Income offices

Speaking outside the court last month Ministry of Social Development (MSD) chief executive Brendan Boyle told media everything possible had been done to protect staff at the Ashburton Work and Income office before the fatal shootings.

Last year, WorkSafe charged the ministry with failing to take steps to ensure the safety of its employees.

But MSD chief executive Brendan Boyle said an independent review found otherwise.

"I'm confident that we had done what we needed to do.

"As you have seen through this case, the events that transpired there that day were extreme, [by] a very well motivated individual who was armed with a very dangerous weapon," he said.

Although the first part of a safety review, released just weeks after the shooting, said the ministry did nothing wrong in the lead-up to the shootings, the second part recommended a number of long-term changes, including better information sharing, and taking a harder line on threatening behaviour.

A number of Work and Income staff have been assaulted since last year's fatal shooting in Ashburton.

But since the attack, an extra 250 security staff have been employed at Work and Income offices, and a tougher line taken towards abusive and violent behaviour.

Tully was due to be sentenced on Friday but yesterday afternoon the court confirmed that the sentencing had been postponed.

A new sentencing date has yet to be set.