Edwards (pictured) committed suicide in his rented home near Normanhurst on the night of the murders
An officer from the NSW Firearms Registry says she has not read about recent domestic violence allegations on John Edwards’ police profile during the trial that found him fit to begin firearms training.
Eighteen months before killing his children in July 2018, Edwards applied for a weapons training license and, due to a previous denied application, required approval from the registry.
In January 2017, a clerk examined Edwards’ main Central Names Index profile in the police database, where 15 of the 18 entries pertained to either detained orders of violence, allegations of stalking, allegations of sexual assault or adverse interactions in relationships.
On Tuesday, she gave evidence to the NSW Coroners Court, saying she understood her role was looking for the reason why Edwards had previously been turned down for a license and that she made sure that the relevant AVO behind that reason was more than 10 years earlier expired.
That was the case, which meant she gave the consent to a co-worker, who later decided Edwards was the right person to start training.
The clerk agreed on Tuesday that the most recent event on Edwards’ police profile, entered just three weeks earlier, contained an allegation that the Sydney retiree had abused his teenage children in 2015.
The inquest into the deaths of Edwards and his two children Jack and Jennifer has previously heard that Hornsby police falsely labeled the charge as “ domestic violence – not insult ” and did not register the children as the alleged victims.
Jack (photo left) and Jennifer’s (photo right) body were found under his bedroom desk with multiple gunshot wounds
“Is there any reason you weren’t looking at that?” asked counsel who assisted Kate Richardson SC.
“I can’t say why I don’t … I just don’t remember,” replied the clerk, whose identity is protected by a court order.
The clerk also scrolled over a high-risk event related to a verbal argument at Edwards’s home in March 2016 and a stalking charge in a mid-term AVO obtained in 2011 to protect an estranged adult daughter of Edwards.
She also explored a second CNI profile for Edwards, detailing allegations of stalking / harassment and interim AVOs.
But she found no “mandatory” reasons that would force her to refuse the license, such as recent AVOs, certain violations or mental health events.
“If there was a mental health event, I would definitely look into it,” she said.
The clerk said she had no written guidelines or formal training on how to conduct CNI checks for training permit applicants, but described the task as “ black and white. ”
Due to “time constraints and a ton of things to do,” she said she did not have enough time to take note of and look at other worrying events on an applicant’s police profile.
Edwards, 67, pointed the gun at himself in a rented house near Normanhurst, north Sydney (pictured)
‘There was not enough training. At the time, we didn’t look at things as closely as we do now. ‘
State coroner Teresa O’Sullivan is investigating how Edwards managed to legally obtain a firearms license in mid-2017 and then acquire the weapons used to kill his children and then himself.
Several other registry employees are expected to testify on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the sworn police officer in charge of the office, Chief Inspector Anthony Bell.
Shocking details about Edwards’s violent history were previously revealed.
He was only 19 when he married his first wife, then 18, The Australian reported.
The shocking story of John Edwards before he shot his two youngest children in cold blood
After having two children, she dumped Edwards while on a family vacation in the US in 1974, after discovering that he was having an affair with another woman.
Edwards returned to Australia with his American mistress, who he later left in a motel with a child and no money.
His next partner miscarried after Edwards threw a bottle of orange syrup at her.
She eventually fled, filing a warrant of continued violence after Edwards threw a rolling pin at her.
Edwards then got another woman pregnant, but left her before the child was born.
He later held her captive in his home and pressed her to the bed before she managed to flee. She went to the police, who arrested Edwards outside her home.
A fifth partner was so afraid of Edwards that she changed her name and fled to Queensland.
A sixth woman told police she only slept on their wedding night after being scolded by her new husband.
She eventually left him in 2000 and fled to a woman’s shelter after she was forced to give birth alone when Edwards refused to take her to the hospital while she was in labor.
The woman later filed a formal complaint with the police about the domestic violence she suffered.
His Russian-born estranged wife Olga was only 19, 31 years younger than him when the couple met on a dating site in 2001.
Six months after the murder-suicide, the mother of the children Olga (photo) took her own life
Obviously, Olga spent the next 15 years trying to save the marriage, despite his derogatory remarks and its controlling nature; he dictated what clothes she wore.
She eventually fled the violent marriage and family home, took their two children, and was launched divorce proceedings in April 2016.
She told the Family Court that she feared for the safety of the children.
Edwards “became consumed with maintaining a relationship with Jack and Jennifer” and blamed Olga for the estrangement of the children, Detective Sergeant Tara Phillips told NSW Coroners Court last week.
After the murder of the children, Olga told Detective Phillips how Edwards had physically abused the children over the years for small things, such as touching his phone or CD collection.
Including Jennifer and Jack, Edwards had 10 children with seven partners.
He threatened to kill two of his previous partners and gave another rat poison, while his other children described being beaten with a belt and a whip.
Edwards falsely told one woman that he was in the military and was “Aboriginal chieftain,” while another described how he tried to escape with the kids while in the shower.
One of his children said custody visits were like a prison.
Edwards was licensed to shoot rifles and pistols in June 2017 after NSW Firearms Registry staff used a police database report that failed to detect several cases related to domestic violence.
The following year, he legally acquired five weapons, including the Glock 17A 9mm semi-automatic pistol with which he shot Jennifer and Jack.
The teens’ bodies were found with multiple gunshot wounds under a desk in a bedroom trying to hide from their father.
After the death of her children, Olga told her doctor that she wanted to stay in the house where they had been killed because “there was still some of Jack and Jenny in it.”
She was found dead in the house in December 2018.
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