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Blessie's killer loses appeal

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/04/2016

The man who murdered Auckland mother Blessie Gotingco has lost a bid to overturn his conviction and sentence.

Tony Robertson, 29, was last year convicted of raping, then stabbing Mrs Gotingco to death after running her over in his car in the North Shore suburb of Birkdale in May 2014.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 24-year minimum non-parole period and also given preventive detention with a 10-year minimum non-parole period for the 56-year-old's rape.

In February, he asked the Court of Appeal to overturn both the conviction and sentence, claiming he had been framed by police and not given a fair trial for various reasons.

"I don't have proof but I believe those knife wounds were caused by police," he told the court.

In a lengthy decision release on Friday, the Court of Appeal dismissed 10 separate points made by Robertson.

They included: claims police had planted DNA evidence, the defence didn't have time to prepare, that his drug use at the time was overlooked, and that there had been media bias against him in reporting that led to the jury knowing about his criminal past.

On the argument he had been framed, the judges concluded "there is no evidence at all, apart from his own, to support that inherently improbable claim".

There was also no reason to suspect any of the jurors had been biased by reporting or that any suppressions had been breached, the court said.

The judges also ruled, given Robertson was a danger "to females of all ages", the minimum sentence was appropriate.

"His continued denial of offending reduces such likelihood as there is that he may respond to treatment," the judges said.

"We observe that he is now aged 29, so age may not mitigate his risk for many years."

Robertson had only just been released from prison under strict conditions after serving eight years for molesting and abducting a five-year-old girl when he killed Mrs Gotingco.

The details of his previous crimes were kept secret for the duration of the trial to avoid influencing the jury.

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