Policeman charged with murder

A police officer handed himself in to Invercargill police after (allegedly) murdering his wife and attempting to murder a man she was with.

Stuff: Invercargill policeman Ben McLean accused of shooting wife dead, injuring man

An Invercargill policeman allegedly shot dead his wife, tried to kill the man she was with, then handed himself in at the local station.

Constable Ben McLean’s alleged Anzac Day attack could be the first of its kind in recent New Zealand history involving a serving police officer.

Verity Ann McLean died in the shooting. Garry William Duggan, who suffered several gunshot wounds, phoned emergency services at 8.19pm on Tuesday.

Ben McLean, 47, was injured in the incident, though police have not said how.

The constable was in Southland Hospital, where a bedside court hearing took place on Wednesday afternoon.

He made no plea to murdering Verity McLean and the attempted murder of Duggan.

A firearm was recovered at the scene. Basham would not say what kind of gun it was, but said it was not a police issue weapon.

McLean was not on duty at the time. He and his wife were separated.

“This is obviously a huge tragedy for everyone involved. We are dealing with three different families who are affected,” Basham said.

It is obviously awful for the families. There are three children involved, it is terrible for them with their mother dead and their father likely to be in prison for a significant length of time.

 “We are also supporting police staff … who are naturally very shocked and dismayed at what has taken place.”

This is tough for the police, but it seems to be more of domestic problem rather than a police problem, it just happens that in this case the killer was a police officer.

When asked what might have led to the shooting, his mother said, “It’s a very, very long story”.

Marriage breakups are often complicated.

While it is not clear what actually happened in this case it appears that it could be a man not being able to handle his ex partner being with someone else.

It’s sadly not uncommon for men to go to extreme lengths when they can’t deal properly with the loss of a relationship. Access to children can be a complicating factor.

A significant number of murders and attempts at murder involve domestic relationship problems. It’s hard to fathom why a man can go to such extremes when they can’t deal with failure or lose their perceived position of power over others.

Also from Stuff: Anzac Day shooting: The McLeans were a ‘role model’ family

That may be how it appeared to some, but it proved to be far from a ‘role model family’.

 

Leave a comment

25 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  27th April 2017

    Sad enough, without him pleading not guilty & putting everyone else through more grief.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  27th April 2017

      Possibly18 years in protective custody. Once the reality sets in don’t be surprised if he takes his fate into his own hands.

      Reply
    • Oliver

       /  27th April 2017

      This is shaping up to be the next OJ case. It’ll be the trial of the century.

      Reply
  2. Corky

     /  27th April 2017

    No man, no matter his station in life, is above affairs of the heart.

    Reply
  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  27th April 2017

    They said on the news last night that he *rode a bike* over to his ex wife’s house……it will be interesting to hear exactly what sort of firearm was used.

    Reply
  4. Brown

     /  27th April 2017

    A gentle bloke would self harm under this stress so I think he had bigger issues than a failed marriage. I’m curious about how many warning signs were ignored but concede he may have been good at the mask in public and I suspect, ignoring hindsight, there was not much the police could have done to prevent this. I hope he’s not on paid leave.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2017

      Why do you hope this ? He wouldn’t be the first ‘gentle’ bloke to snap and lose it, everyone has a limit. I am not going to be ghoulishly glued to the screen if the news has the bad taste to treat this case as entertainment. But I fear that it will be-pandering to the ghouls among us.

      Reply
  5. Pickled Possum

     /  27th April 2017

    Sad for everyone involved, especially for the children.

    But I do wonder how many other power kegs out there ready for the next saga.

    Are you stressed in your job
    Need some better stories to tell
    Need a new Job.
    Are they kidding?

    Does the Police Ass look after the thin blue line men and woman with counselling and support after some particularly bad domestic violence scene, or are they like most other Government Dept and NGO Just wait till the person comes to make an application for counselling … get it ticked off … then send it off into the ether for confirmation … which can take a while … so I have been told.
    or is it assumed they just harden the fuck up.

    Is this the NZ way of living, a concrete pill a day makes anything go away.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  27th April 2017

      Stress is the difference between how things are and how they should be. Changing how things are is difficult and slow. Changing how you think they should be, maybe not so much.

      Tragic for everyone when help is too late.

      Reply
  6. MaureenW

     /  27th April 2017

    Very sad affair that has a number of high-stress tipping factors.
    High stress job, small town, a long and obviously once-happy marriage, wife has left and taken up with a good friend. Not everyone has the emotional ability to rebuild their life from that nadir, sadly for all involved.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  27th April 2017

      A very kind man, a local policeman, shot himself in the next street to me when his wife left him. Nobody had any idea that R was as depressed as that. Nor did anyone see it coming when a friend put her affairs in order, shut herself in the garage, attached a hose to the exhaust pipe and turned on the engine.

      Yes, being left for a good friend must be dreadful-a double betrayal.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  27th April 2017

        Invercargill isn’t exactly a small town.

        Reply
        • Brown

           /  27th April 2017

          … shot himself …

          That is the difference. Been there, nearly done that. I was a danger to me and no-one else. Ex was annoyed I didn’t (she had to split the money) and I’m pleased that things rapidly improved once she was out of my life. That annoyed her as well. A win win for me really but it was tough on the kids. You don’t go and shoot people that annoy you if you are half decent. This is forgiveable but not excusable.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  27th April 2017

            We don’t know what was going on here, so it’s better not to judge until we do.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  28th April 2017

            No. It’s 50,000+ population makes it well over the number needed for it to be a city.Places like Ngaruawahia & Foxton are small towns. Invercargill is a city.

            Reply
            • MaureenW

               /  28th April 2017

              On the bigger scheme of things, its a small town. Most people know most people, that’s my bench-mark for calling it a small town. There is little anomymity there – everybody you meet, knows someone you know who knows about your private stuff. Another high stress factor.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  28th April 2017

              Your benchmark is wrong. It is a city, and not a small town by any definition. It fits the criteria for a city. It has its own council and mayor. It has a city’s population.

              Everyone you meet knows someone you know ? There are 50.000+ people there, not 50, 500 or 5000. Even in a town of 5000, not everyone knows who everyone else is-ask anyone who lives in one !

              Just accept that Invercargill is a city. The people there would be very surprised to hear that anyone considered it to be a small town, I think.

            • Gezza

               /  28th April 2017

              I remember our friends in Rarotonga saying you could never have a secret affair there.

            • MaureenW

               /  28th April 2017

              You are wrong. Small towns know who the policemen are. How many policemen are in Invercargill?

            • Nelly Smickers

               /  28th April 2017

              One less now.

            • MaureenW

               /  28th April 2017

              Yes he’s in jail now, but I can’t help feeling sad for the guy .. and his wife .. and their family .. and her family .. and her new friend’s family. Their family in particular. Dad shot Mum, I can’t think of anything worse.

  7. Oliver

     /  27th April 2017

    The police obviously need to work on their vetting process.

    Reply

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