PSA welcomes 27-year non-parole sentence for Work and Income murderer

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The Public Service Association welcomes the news that Russell John Tully has been jailed for at least 27 years for murdering two Work and Income staff in September 2014.

In the High Court at Christchurch, Justice Cameron Mander described Tully as "very dangerous" and his shooting of Susan Leigh Cleveland and Peggy Turuhira Noble as cold-blooded executions.

Justice Mander described the effects of his actions on the victims’ family, friends and colleagues, and noted that Tully "didn’t much care" what he had done.

The 27 year non-parole sentence is one of the longest ever imposed in New Zealand.

"Our members will be relieved at the news Tully’s vicious and evil crime has been suitably punished," PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says.

"The Work and Income office at Ashburton was a tight-knit workplace and the impact of these tragic deaths has been profound - for the families of the victims, their community and the whole country.

"We believe justice has been done, and this should send an important message that every worker in New Zealand has the right to do their job in safety."

Mr Barclay said both the Ministry of Social Development and the PSA had provided support to people who were traumatised by the incident, and would continue to do so.