WINZ murders: How the case unfolded

4:12 pm on 9 March 2016

A jury has taken less than a day to find Russell John Tully guilty of walking into the Ashburton Work and Income office and opening fire, leaving two dead and two injured. Here's how it unfolded:

The WINZ office in Ashburton, where shots were fired this morning.

The WINZ office in Ashburton Photo: Supplied

1 September 2014: Homeless beneficiary Russell John Tully, wearing a black balaclava and carrying a shotgun, walks into the Ashburton Work and Income office on the corner of Cass and Moore Streets at 9.52am and starts shooting. He leaves Peggy Noble and Leigh Cleveland dead, and two of their colleagues injured. Tully flees the scene on a pushbike, and Ashburton residents are told to stay indoors as police swarm the region. Work and Income closes its offices in Ashburton, Christchurch, Timaru, Oamaru, Christchurch and Balclutha as a precaution. Tully is found by police on a rural property south of Ashburton about 5.30pm and arrested.

2 September 2014: Tully appears in the Christchurch District Court charged with murder.

23 September 2014: New charges, including a second attempted murder count, are laid against Tully. At the hearing another charge was revealed; he stole a mountain bike, leather jacket and various grocery items at Ashburton on 24 August.

10 February 2015: It is announced Tully's trial will be held in the High Court in Christchurch in May.

1 May 2015: The trial is delayed and another trial date is later set for November.

1 September 2015: Ministry of Social Development staff and members of the Ashburton community mark a year since the shooting by laying wreaths at the Ashburton WINZ office and holding two minutes of silence. WINZ staff nationwide also observe a two-minute silence at 9.52am - the time of the shootings.

17 November 2015: The trial is delayed until 2016.

22 February 2016: The trial is set to begin but is delayed due to legal arguments and does not begin until 24 February.

4 March 2016: The Crown finishes presenting its case at Tully's trial in the High Court at Christchurch, after seven days' of calling evidence from more than 70 witnesses.

7 March 2016: The Crown presents its closing address.

9 March 2016: The jury returns with a verdict.

Floral tributes to the women killed and injured in the Ashburton Work and Income shootings.

Floral tributes to the women killed and injured in the Ashburton Work and Income shootings. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

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