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Robertson Corrections report: key facts

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/05/2016

A report has cleared Corrections over the release and management of Tony Robertson months before he murdered Blessie Gotingco. What did it say and why was it needed?

THE BACKGROUND

Tony Robertson was convicted of murdering and raping Auckland woman Blessie Gotingco in May 2014, only six months after being released from prison for abducting and sexually abusing a five-year-old in 2005

CONCERNS ABOUT RELEASE

His release came despite the fact he denied his sexual offending, refused to participate in rehab programmes and was involved in 50 incidents, including assaults, while in prison

THE REPORT

Government ministers ordered a report to see if his release and monitoring had been handled properly amid public outcry

WHAT HAS IT FOUND?

"Robertson, and only Robertson, can be held responsible for what happened to Mrs Gotingco," said enquiry head Mel Smith.

Despite making 27 recommendations, the report concluded there were no "failings or deficiencies in systems or practices" that provided opportunity for the murder

RECOMMENDATIONS?

Most are aimed at Corrections operations and some have already been brought in.

They include:

* A review of responses to and data sharing of electronic monitoring alerts

* Corrections should spend more time getting prisoners to do rehab programmes and should start earlier in their sentences

* More resources should be given to finding accommodation for high-risk prisoners upon release

* More training for those conducting risk assessments

* Seven separate changes to the way offenders are managed in the community after release - including more training for staff and more communication between the parole board and Corrections

* More consultation between Corrections and Police about notifying the public when high-risk offenders are released

FAMILY REACTION TO THE FINDINGS

"My family and I are both disappointed and devastated by the inquiry's findings," Mrs Gotingco's husband Antonio told reporters.

"We remain firmly of the view that the Department of Corrections' ineptitude enabled the evil killer to take our Blessie."

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