Tony Robertson inquiry details announced

  • 10/08/2015
Convicted murderer Tony Robertson (3 News)
Convicted murderer Tony Robertson (3 News)

By 3 News online staff

An independent review into the handling of Blessie Gotingco murderer Tony Robertson's case will focus on how agencies managed his release from prison, before he killed her last year.

Justice Minister Amy Adams and Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-liga today announced the draft Terms of Reference for the Government inquiry into Robertson's case.

Robertson was on GPS monitoring at the time of the murder, and had been released from prison several months earlier after serving eight years for the abduction and molestation of a five-year-old girl in 2005.

He breached his release conditions on several occasions.

Within days getting out on December 11, 2013, Robertson had already breached his release conditions by having unauthorised visitors to stay at his accommodation.

He was convicted and sentenced to six months' community detention.

Less than two weeks after Robertson's first breach he was back in court again.

This time he went to a park where children were likely to gather, something expressly forbidden under the conditions imposed on him.

Court documents obtained by 3 News show Robertson was wearing an electronic tracking bracelet or GPS at the time and had been warned just 10 days earlier for straying into a park.

The review will focus on Robertson's management by Corrections prior to, and following his release from prison, the way Government agencies dealt with his post-release offending, and operational practices for the release of high-risk offenders.

Former Ombudsman Mel Smith, who has chaired various ministerial reviews, will head the inquiry.

"As a former Ombudsman and Acting Secretary for Justice, Mr Smith brings a wealth of experience of the public sector and has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality reviews that are above reproach," says Ms Adams.

The Terms of Reference will be finalised following consultation with Mr Smith.

"In light of the public safety issues arising from Mr Robertson’s offending while subject to release conditions, it is important that the inquiry answers the many questions the public has around the agencies’ management of the case," Mr Lotu-Iiga says.

The inquiry has been jointly commissioned by Ms Adams and Mr Lotu-liga.

The inquiry is being established under the Inquiries Act 2013 and will report back by end of November 2015.

3 News