At a glance: Tony Robertson's criminal history

Tony Robertson
Tony Robertson

Criminal history

Court documents show Tony Robertson's offending started in 2003, when he was 16 years old.

Prior to December 2005, Robertson had convictions for assault, assault with intent to injure, aggravated robbery, possession of an offensive weapon, wilful damage, threatening to kill, burglary and receiving.

December 14, 2005: Attempted abduction

3:30pm: Robertson accosts a 12-year-old Tauranga boy and robs him of his cell phone.

Ten minutes later Robertson tries to coax three children, aged six, seven and eight into his car as they're walking home from Maungatapu School in Tauranga. He says he has a present for them from their mother, but he is scared off when one of the children runs away to get their mother and she yells at him.

December 15, 2005: Kidnap of a child

8:45am: Robertson approaches a five-year-old girl and her seven-year-old brother on their way to school. He convinces the girl to get in the car using the same present ploy but tells the boy he doesn't want him to come.

Robertson drives the girl to Kaiate Falls, where he touches and licks her inappropriately and tries to take photos of her in her underwear. A local police officer finds the pair at the falls after the brother raises the alarm.

February 19, 2006: Assault in custody

While in custody awaiting trial Robertson assaults a Corrections officer by hitting him over the head with an electric fan during a cell transfer. He pleads guilty to assault and behaving threateningly.

July 24, 2006: Jury verdict

A jury finds Robertson guilty of seven offences:

October 4, 2006: Robertson sentenced  

Robertson is sentenced to a total of eight years jail at the High Court in Tauranga for the seven abduction related charges and the assault on the Corrections officer. Justice J Keane declines to sentence Robertson to preventive detention, which would have seen him jailed indefinitely.

At the time Justice Keane said Robertson was "not simply to be assumed to be a lost cause at the age of 19". However Justice Keane did impose an extended non-parole period; meaning that Robertson must serve at least two thirds of his sentence rather than the standard one third.

June 16, 2008: Robertson appeals

Robertson appeals his seven convictions relating to the attempted kidnap, abduction and indecent acts on children. He claims the trial Judge misdirected the jury and also questions the DNA evidence and a police officer's statement.

August 2008: Appeal decision

Robertson's appeal against his convictions is dismissed.

September 18, 2013: Application for an Extended Supervision Order  

Prior to Robertson's release the Department of Corrections files an application in the High Court seeking an extended supervision order (ESO) for ten years, which was the maximum duration at the time. An order if granted allows the court to impose more intensive monitoring conditions on a prisoner; beyond the expiration of their supervision period with the purpose of protecting the public. The Parole Board also has the power to add further special conditions (including GPS monitoring or 24 hour supervision) to an ESO if one is granted.

December 11, 2013: Robertson released

According to court documents Robertson was released.  

His statutory release date was December 14, 2013. The Department of Corrections has declined to confirm exactly what release conditions Robertson was subject to, but there were 13. He was subject to GPS monitoring and a curfew requiring him to be at home between the hours of 8pm and 6am, and could only reside at an approved address. They were due to expire on June 14, 2014.

January 6, 2014: Breach of release conditions

Robertson is convicted for breaching his release conditions after he has someone to stay at his accommodation, who was not an approved visitor. He's sentenced to six months' community detention.

January 16, 2014: Breach of release conditions

Robertson allegedly breaches his release conditions by being at a public park where children are likely to gather. He disputes it, but is given a warning.

One of Robertson's release conditions banned him from entering any place where children congregate unless he was under direct supervision.

January 26, 2014: Breach of release conditions

Again Robertson is charged with breaching release conditions by being in a public park.

February 5, 2014: Bail Hearing

Robertson appears in the Auckland District Court for a bail hearing before Judge Wade. He was in custody for breaching release conditions. He verbally abuses the judge and is denied bail.

February 13, 2014: Hearing for Extended Supervision Order  

Application for an Extended Supervision Order (ESO) is heard. Robertson did not oppose the application but argued any order should only last for five years. An ESO allows more intensive monitoring of a released prisoner over an extended period of time.

 February 19, 2014: Judge Orders maximum extended supervision period

Justice Wylie notes "Mr Robertson has an appalling criminal record" and he considers it likely "he will commit an indecency on a child under the age of 12 years and that he will abduct a child for the purpose of a sexual connection".

The judge orders a ten-year ESO to start June 15, 2014.

It is not known if Robertson was subject to additional monitoring beyond the standard conditions of an ESO.

February 25, 2014

Robertson having pleaded guilty to an earlier breach of release conditions and is sentenced to two months jail - but has all but served the time so is released almost immediately.  

May 24, 2014: Last sightings of Blessie Gotingco

Blessie Gotingco takes bus 973 home from work in Central Auckland and gets off at Birkdale Road less than 700 metres from home, but she never arrives there.

May 26, 2014: Police search cemetery

Police cordon off a cemetery on Eskdale Rd in Birkdale, a short distance from Ms Gotingco's home.

May 27, 2014: Body discovered

9:40am: police confirm they have found a body believed to be that of missing woman Blesilda (Blessie) Gotingco

The same day 27-year-old Tony Douglas Robertson is arrested at a property in Monte Casino Place, just streets away from Ms Gotingco's home.

May 28, 2014

Tony Douglas Robertson appears in court for the first time charged with murder.

June 14, 2014: Standard parole expires

The release conditions imposed on Robertson expire six months after Robertson's statutory release date as per the law.

June 15, 2014: Extended supervision commences

The 10-year court-ordered ESO was due to start on this day but Tony Douglas Robertson is in custody awaiting trial for Ms Gotingco's murder.  

February 4, 2015: Mental health hearing

Robertson's lawyer, David Niven, quits after he is compelled, against Robertson's wishes, to raise concerns with the court about his client's mental fitness to stand trial.  

The court orders two reports, one from a psychiatrist, and one from a psychologist to determine whether Robertson is mentally well enough to stand trial. The court adjourns the trial start date, which was to be March 1, 2015.

March 16-17, 2015: GPS evidence hearing

Hearing to determine the admissibility of GPS data that recorded Robertson's movements on the day Blessie was abducted, the next day and the day of his arrest.

Robertson argued his privacy was breached by how GPS data was obtained by police and he didn't have a lawyer representing him at the time the Parole Board imposed the monitoring conditions.

Justice Winkelmann rules the GPS evidence is admissible.

April 13-17 2015: Section 9 hearing

Robertson challenges forensic experts' DNA evidence on sexual violation charge. Justice Winkelmann dismisses his challenge.

April 22, 2015: Section 9 hearing

Through his lawyer Robertson claimed he was not mentally fit to stand trial. Justice Winkelmann accepted a health assessor's views Robertson has the ability to participate fully in the trial process and rules Robertson is fit to stand trial starting April 28.

April 28, 2015: Blessie Gotingco trial begins

Justice Brewer rules media can publish Robertson's image but not his name. Robertson sacks his lawyer on day two of proceedings but the trial continues.

May 22, 2015: Verdict delivered

Jury finds Robertson guilty of the murder and rape of Blessie Gotingco after two hours of deliberations. Justice Brewer makes a ruling to lift Robertson's name suppression but Robertson indicates he will appeal the suppression ruling. Justice Brewer has no choice but to allow Robertson 20 working days to lodge his case with the Appeal Court and name suppression continues.

June 24, 2015: Court of Appeal hears name suppression case

A hearing is held in Wellington before Justices Helen Winkelman, John Wild and Christine French.

The panel reserves its decision.

July 6, 2015: Court of Appeal rejects his appeal

The Court of Appeal dismisses Robertson's appeal, but his name suppression remains in place for legal reasons. Roberston takes his appeal to the Supreme court.

July 28, 2015: Supreme Court dismisses Robertson's appeal

The Supreme Court dismisses Robertson's appeal, saying, "The concurrent findings of the High Court and Court of Appeal are orthodox and we see no appearance of a miscarriage of justice. We therefore dismiss the application for leave to appeal."