2015 – A year for the courts


The family and friends of murdered Auckland mother-of-three Blessie Gotingco packed out an Auckland courtroom for the trial of her killer Tony Robertson, in April.

Frequent trial delays added to the family’s anguish as Robertson fired his lawyer and proceeded to defend himself, giving evidence and cross examining witnesses, as well as asking for numerous breaks. The trial was notable because Robertson could be photographed but not named, and his admission: “I stabbed Mrs Gotingco.”

In August, Robertson, 28, was sentenced to preventive detention and 24 years minimum non-parole for her murder and preventive detention with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years for her rape. It was later revealed Robertson was on parole for abducting and molesting a five-year-old and was wearing a GPS bracelet when he killed Ms Gotingco.

GPS bracelets don’t work on the criminally insane. ?The fact we’ve had people who allowed him out in the community like that means they were criminally negligent. ?Yet nobody has ever had to own up for that. ?


The nation held its breath as the once-convicted murderer Mark Lundy again stood trial for killing his wife Christine and seven-year-old daughter Amber in 2000. The Privy Council had quashed Lundy’s 2002 conviction because of unsound scientific evidence and ordered the retrial. Opinions were divided on whether Lundy would again be found guilty or walk a free man. However, gone were the allegations of a mad dash between Petone and Palmerston North and Lundy wearing a wig and running in dress shoes. Prosecutor Philip Morgan made a telling statement in his closing address: “No husband should have his wife’s brain on his shirt.” After a seven-week trial the jury took two days to find Lundy, 58, guilty of bludgeoning his family to death in their Palmerston North home.


The death of Auckland woman Cissy Chen was a classic case of “whodunnit”. For 16 months her body lay in a drain in a North Shore reserve before it was discovered in 2014. Police had long suspected her partner Yun Qing Liu, also known as Jack, was responsible for her death. However when the case came to trial in June 2015, the jury did not find enough evidence to tie Liu to the crime. It took around 11 hours to reach a not guilty verdict. Liu was also found not guilty of manslaughter.


In 2015 the details of several gruesome crimes were revealed as they went to trial. Whether it was the weapon involved, or the nature of the injuries inflicted, these were details that left people feeling a little squeamish.

  • Auckland man Shalvin Prasad was burned alive and his body was still smouldering when it was discovered. His killers were both handed life sentences.
  • Millie Elder-Homes’ boyfriend Conor Morris was killed by one blow to the head from a long-stemmed sickle, the size and lethal appearance of which stunned onlookers when it was presented in court.
  • Auckland man Davender Singh was partially decapitated when his wife’s lover stabbed and cut his neck several times through an open car window. The wife and lover were both found guilty of murder.

We are a pacific country in many ways, but there is a really dark underbelly to our society.


– NZN via Yahoo