Russell Tully guilty of double-murder

Russell John Tully (FIle)
Russell John Tully (FIle)

Russell John Tully has been found guilty of the murder of two Ashuburton Work and Income employees.

After six hours of deliberation the jury reached its verdict this afternoon, finding Tully guilty of the double-murder and attempted murder of Kim Adams.

He is also guilty of unlawful possession of two firearms. 

The jury has found him not guilty of another count of attempted murder for Lindy Curtis and not guilty of setting a man trap. 

Russell Tully in court last week (File)

Tully entered the WINZ office on September 1, 2014, and shot dead Peggy Noble and Susan Cleveland. He also fired his gun at Kim Adams, which narrowly missed her as she escaped out the door. 

Ms Curtis was shot in the leg by Tully and both her and Ms Adams were in court last week to recount their ordeal. Ms Curtis spoke of how she watched Tully's footsteps get closer as she hid under her desk.

Tully looked impassive and resigned as the jury read out its verdict. 

A statement of the behalf of Ms Nobles family was given at the court, acknowledging the support they've received. 

"[We] are thankful for the strength which each witness displayed to reach its outcome," the family says. 

"[Our] love goes out to all the victims affected by this tragedy."

Brendan Boyle from the Ministry of Social Development was in court today to hear the verdict as well. 

"It's a relief to get to this point, to get the verdict but I'll always be thinking about what happened on that day," he says. 

"I want to acknowledge the tremendous work that the police and the Crown prosecution put into this case. It's been a really difficult and challenging case."

Mr Boyle says his thoughts are with the families of the victims. 

Brendan Boyle outside court (Emma Cropper)

Family and former colleagues of the two women he killed packed out the public gallery in Christchurch High Court to hear the verdict.

The jury asked to re-watch CCTV footage of the shooting this morning after retiring yesterday at 5pm after an hour of deliberation. 

The Crown summed up its case against Tully yesterday after 10 days of evidence, telling the court he was the only person who held such a grudge with the office at the time of the shooting and this was his motive for carrying out the rampage.

Exhibits in court during the trial (File)

In the lead-up to the shooting Tully had been trespassed from the office after multiple dealings with the staff, who described the 49-year-old as intimidating.

The court's representatives for Tully asked the jury to consider whether he was guilty beyond reasonable doubt before making their verdict.

Justice Mander reminded the jury to focus only on the evidence given and ignore that Tully was only in court for three days and restrained when present.