Blessie's husband: Corrections 'put a snake in the hen house'

Blessie and Antonio in their younger years (Supplied)
Blessie and Antonio in their younger years (Supplied)

Antonio Gotingco sits in his friend's lounge to the right of the urn which holds the remains of his wife Blessie. Yesterday was her birthday, she would have been 58 years old.

In May 2014, the mother-of-three was brutally raped and killed by Tony Robertson as she walked the final few hundred metres home from her local bus stop. He is now living out life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 24 years along with preventive detention for the rape -- but for Mr Gotingco, his punishment will continue until the day he dies.

"I am surprised that I am still alive today. Every night that I go to sleep, I always think of her. Every day that I wake up, the first thing that I think of is her. I normally kiss her urn and I talk to her. My relationship with her now is just like my relationship with God."

The widower and his family have banded together as symbol of strength while dealing with incomprehensible grief. Speaking to TV3's The Nation, Mr Gotingco elaborates on how they have coped since Blessie's murder.

Blessie's husband: Corrections 'put a snake in the hen house'

"The fact that this happened to us, there is no point in denying, there is no point in running away. The fact is this happened to us.

"I tell my family to be brave enough in looking forward and in how we can bring justice to my wife."

When he speaks of justice, he means with the Department of Corrections. Mr Gotingco says like Robertson, they have "blood on their hands" too.

"They must be willing to take the responsibility. They are the authority that was supposedly monitoring that evil person. They put the criminal in our neighbourhood when all the records indicate that it is only a matter of time until this offender reoffends again.

"They expect that sooner or later this thing will happen. They put a snake in a hen house."

Earlier this week, an independent report stated Corrections had done everything they could to manage the risk. Mr Gotingco categorically disagrees.

"When I heard that come out in the inquiry, I felt bad. It is a huge insult to my intelligence and not only my intelligence alone, but also to the intelligence of the general public.

"Even after all this time, they are still at the denial stage.

"If they did everything possible, then my wife would still be alive today."

Blessie's husband: Corrections 'put a snake in the hen house'

Despite the circumstances, the family still lives in the same house now that they did when Blessie was killed.

It's only a few hundred metres away from where the brutal murder and rape took place.

Every day when they leave their home, they either pass the site their loved one was abducted from or the graveyard where her body was dumped afterward.

"People asked me if I'd be willing to move to a new place and I asked them, why should I? I like the memories that we shared here," he says.

While Mr Gotingco is now taking civil action against Corrections, he is done with fighting Robertson.

When asked if he'd like to see the killer die behind bars, his message is clear and concise.

"Death is an understatement really. I will follow him all the way to the gates of hell."

Antonio and his family have set up a Givealittle page to help cover the cost of their civil law suit. If you wish to donate, you can find the link here.