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John Edwards’ gun permit lie didn’t stop him from getting one seven years later

A COPS check revealed that to be false, and his license application was refused.

Counsel assisting the inquest Katherine Richardson SC put to the supervisor that “it must have been apparent that [the licence] wasn’t just refused because of the AVO, but that in the process he had made a false application.

“And it’s the case isn’t it that… no red flag or note was put [into the database] in connection with John Edwards’ name to say John Edwards has filed a false application to the registry.”

Detectives leave the house where Jack and Jennifer Edwards were murdered by their father, John Edwards, in 2018.

Detectives leave the house where Jack and Jennifer Edwards were murdered by their father, John Edwards, in 2018. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

The supervisor said “I agree that the false and misleading answer was not noted, however, he also wasn’t convicted of that offence.”

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Ms Richardson suggested the reason he wasn’t convicted for lying to the registry “is because the matter wasn’t escalated for prosecution”.

The supervisor did not agree, because “unless that happened, we don’t know what the court outcome would be”.

She said the licence was “was refused because he was subject to the AVO, so it wasn’t necessary to follow up the false and misleading [application].”

Asked if that information might be relevant to someone making a decision at the registry later on, the supervisor disagreed, saying that it was not difficult for staff members in 2017 to access the information needed to work out that he had previously made a false application.

On Tuesday, the inquest heard from the clerk who who looked at Edwards’ police record, containing 18 entries of his history of assault, stalking and AVOs, before granting him the licence.

The supervisor could not say “what the thought process was” when Edwards’ rifle and pistol licences were granted in 2017, and said she had not viewed the COPS database audit that shows the steps the clerk who made the decision had taken.

The inquest continues.

Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732 Lifeline 13 11 14.

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