18 May 2015

Blessie accused hooked on P - lawyer

5:29 pm on 18 May 2015

The man accused of raping and murdering Blessie Gotingco was hooked on methamphetamine when Mrs Gotingco went missing, the High Court at Auckland has been told.

A 28-year-old man with name suppression has denied the charges and is on trial at the High Court in Auckland.

He is representing himself but Amicus lawyer Chris Wilkinson-Smith - appointed by the court to help the accused - has given an opening address at the High Court in Auckland today.

He said man had had a string of family tragedies in May last year; his mother had a stroke, his aunt had died and his girlfriend had a miscarriage.

The accused had been driving around looking to get drugs on the day Mrs Gotingco went missing and struck Mrs Gotingco by accident, said Mr Wilkinson-Smith.

He said the car travelling ahead of the accused narrowly missed Mrs Gotingco but the accused hit her.

He then took her to his home to avoid breaching his curfew, Mr Wilkinson-Smith said.

The Crown has said the accused ran down Mrs Gotingco on purpose before bundling her into his car and taking her to his apartment, where he raped, strangled and stabbed her.

GPS evidence puts the accused on the road where Mrs Gotingco was run down by a car, then later at the cemetery at the spot where her body was found, the Crown said.

But Mr Wilkinson-Smith drew the attention of GPS expert Dr John Donaldson to readings that indicated the accused had moved from his home in Birkdale to Albany in less than a minute.

Mr Wilkinson-Smith said the accused would have to be moving at a speed of more than 600km/h.

Dr Donaldson said the GPS reading was an anomaly and was not unusual.

The accused is expected to give evidence in his own case tomorrow.

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