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Blessie court case unlikely to win: expert

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/05/2016
Blessie Gotingco © TVNZ Blessie Gotingco

More than $100,000 has been raised for the widower of slain Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco to sue the government, but a law expert says the case has little chance of success.

Antonio Gotingco wants to sue the Department of Corrections for its "ineptitude and stupidity" in managing her killer, Tony Robertson, after he was released into the community in 2013.

Six months later he had raped and murdered 56-year-old Ms Gotingco but an inquiry found authorities had made no errors which had created an opportunity for the crimes.

That sparked Mr Gotingco last week to launch a  crowdfunding campaign to sue Corrections and on Monday morning nearly 3500 people had pledged $118,000.

But Auckland University law expert Professor Bill Hodge says the bid has little chance of success.

ACC legislation means people cannot sue on behalf of a deceased victim.

"The only possible way is for Antonio to sue for his own mental harm, but to do that he has to have diagnostic condition of mental injury," Prof Hodge told TV3's Paul Henry programme.

However, grief and anger were not recognised injuries, he said.

Robertson, 29, is serving at least 24 years in prison for murdering Mrs Gotingco on the North Shore in 2014.

At the time he was still subject to strict monitoring and conditions after serving his full eight-year sentence for molesting and abducting a five-year-old girl.

Prof Hodge said Robertson had to live somewhere on coming out of prison and it happened to be the North Shore.

"She was just the random, tragic victim ... do you want to put them all in one place? I don't think so."

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