5 May 2015

No online research, Blessie jury told

5:37 pm on 5 May 2015

A High Court judge has told a jury that he will be questioning them individually to ensure they've obeyed his order not to read any media reports about the case they're deciding.

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

The accused Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Blessie Gotingco's body was found wrapped in a sheet in bush behind a cemetery in May last year, two days after she went missing.

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

Justice Brewer warned the jury that there had been publicity about the trial.

He said the publicity included an article written by a registrar of the High Court and published overseas.

The judge said the article was no longer online, but he warned the jurors the internet was everywhere.

He said their duty was to decide the case based on evidence heard only inside the court room.

The warning mirrors the direction he gave the jurors at the start of the trial.

Justice Brewer told them he intended asking them individually whether they had followed that direction.

He said he would be asking if they have been reading articles online or using social media.

The judge said the reason behind that was to ensure that they still had the ability to decide the case impartially.

The case is taking two days off, and the jurors will be coming back on Friday when they're likely to hear more evidence from the Detective who found the knife at the accused's apartment.

The Crown's case is that the knife has the blood of Mrs Gotingco on it.

The jury are also due to hear from ESR scientists.

Photo of Blessie at funeral.

Photo: RNZ / Mani Dunlop

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