Simply, the judicial system in New Zealand is failing.
Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco was raped and murdered by the same man who, just ten years earlier, was imprisoned for the abduction and rape of a five-year-old girl.
The fact is that when Tony Robertson raped and killed Blessie Gotingco he was not long out of prison for this earlier crime where, at the time of conviction a judge had taken pity on the then teenager expecting that given the chance, the young man could still make something of his life…
During the aforementioned sentence Tony Robertson was repeatedly denied parole due to a total ‘lack of reform’.
…So they let him out. Tony Robertson abducted and raped a five-year-old girl. He showed no desire to comply with the prison’s rehabilitation policy. They then released him back into the public.
Granted he had to adhere to pretty stringent conditions but nothing too serious; nothing so austere as to prevent him from running down the defenceless Gotingco in his car, raping then murdering her. Nothing like that.
Tony Robertson spent weeks before the courts and despite firing his legal counsel in the early stages, managed to somehow burn up over $200 grand of taxpayer money.
Truth be told when I first laid eyes on the cretin he gained my pity. I actually thought this reasonably well-spoken and good-natured man who seemed to believe he could defend himself better than an agenda-driven court-appointed lawyer, was being persecuted by overzealous police on the hunt for a scapegoat.
It wouldn’t have been the first time anyway, he said soberly, casting a discerning eye in the direction of Teina Pora’s wasted youth.
Blessie Gotingco was a well liked member of her community. Now she’s dead. All it would have taken for her to not be dead is for that judge a decade ago to have based his sentence on the magnitude of the offence rather than a teenager’s apparent innocence.
Article by Tim Walker
Edited by Noah Ena Sense
Photography by Chet Bag