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Gotingco family crowdfunding legal action

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/05/2016

Blessie Gotingco © TVNZ Blessie Gotingco The family of slain Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco is considering suing the Department of Corrections for their "ineptitude and stupidity" in managing her killer.

An inquiry into the handling of Tony Douglas Robertson, who murdered and raped Ms Gotingco only six months after being released from prison in 2013, found authorities had made no errors which had created an opportunity for the crimes.

Mrs Gotingco's family said they were "disappointed and devastated" by the findings on Wednesday, which included 27 recommendations.

The widower of Ms Gotingco, Antonio, has launched a crowdfunding page to potentially take civil action against the government and the Department of Corrections.

"We lost our beautiful Blessie at the hands of a person who was supposed to be under strict monitoring in the community by authorities to whom we have entrusted our lives for protection," he wrote.

"It is my families (sic) view that the government sounded the death knell for Blessie by failing miserably to deliver the primary role of governance which is to ensure its citizens are safe and secure from the scum of society."

So far the page has had an outpouring of support since it was launched on Friday, raising more than $29,000 from 907 donors in less than 24 hours.

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.

When he killed Mrs Gotingco, Robertson was still subject to strict monitoring and conditions following his release from prison after serving his full eight-year sentence for molesting and abducting a five-year-old girl.

In his report, Mel Smith said police and Corrections carried out well the difficult task of managing Robertson while he was in prison, and after he was released.

"Robertson, and only Robertson, can be held responsible for what happened to Mrs Gotingco," he said.

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