Blessie's family calls for public inquiry

8:48 pm on 28 July 2015

The family of Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco is calling for an independent public inquiry into how high-risk offenders are managed by Corrections.

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

Tony Douglas Robertson Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Tony Douglas Robertson, a convicted child sex offender, lost name suppression when he was found guilty of the rape and murder of Mrs Gotingco by a jury in the High Court in Auckland in May but fought to keep it.

Blesilda Gotingco.

Blesilda Gotingco Photo: SUPPLIED

Robertson was being monitored by GPS when he committed the crime.

Today, he lost his bid to keep his name secret.

Gotingco family spokesperson Ruth Money said the family was now focusing on his sentencing.

"It's bittersweet. They're so relieved that finally, after all this legal nonsense and his cowardly tricks, he has been named.

"It's very important for him that the public realise that these people are out there, living in the community, and aren't monitored, even though they should be."

Ms Money told Checkpoint Robertson should have been sentenced to preventive detention (PD) after that crime, which she said was what the prosecution had asked for.

"He should have been physically monitored. I mean, if we go right back to Tauranga, he actually should have been sentenced to PD, which is what the prosecution had asked for.

"He is the worst of the worst, he is what you call a one percenter, and he shouldn't have been able to be released unmonitored," she said.

Ms Money said Corrections should also have made frequent, random checks on Robertson at home.

She said Blessie's death should not be in vain and a public inquiry was needed.

The Corrections Department said it did everything it could to best monitor Robertson.

Corrections' northern regional commissioner Jeanette Burns told Checkpoint a review found he was being monitored appropriately, with him being held in custody twice for breaching restrictions.

"At the time that we were monitoring him, that was the sentence that was available to the parole board to set those conditions, and we monitored him very carefully around those conditions."

Ms Burns said GPS monitoring showed where offenders were, but not what they were doing.

"We managed him to the very best of our ability," she said.

"We met all of our standards, in some instances we went over and above them - notwithstanding that the outcome here was absolutely tragic."

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs