20 May 2015

Juror no-show at Blessie trial

2:26 pm on 20 May 2015

A member of the jury which will decide whether a man raped and murdered Blessie Gotingco failed to show up for the trial today.

Blessie Gotingco murder trial *****(NAME SUPPRESSION. OK TO USE IMAGE ON JUDGE'S RULING)*******

Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

A 28-year-old man, who has name suppression, is representing himself in the High Court at Auckland and denies the charges.

Justice Brewer today sent the jury home after one of its members failed to show up, saying he would need to make inquiries as to why.

He also said the accused wanted to call a health professional as his final witness, and a summons would have to be served on her at her workplace.

The accused admits hitting Mrs Gotingco with his car but has told the court it was an accident, and that he put her in his back seat to take her home because he did not want to breach his curfew.

He said he thought she was dead after he ran over her but never checked for a pulse.

The accused admitted stabbing Mrs Gotingco to make it look like a random attack, rather than a car accident, because he did not want the police to come knocking and notice his damaged car.

The accused also said GPS evidence that put him at the scene of the crash and at the cemetery could also have been manipulated, and that he was out trying to buy drugs when the crash happened.

He denied raping Mrs Gotingco, saying police had planted his DNA on swabs used to take samples from the body of the mother-of-three.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs