Miscarriage of justice claimed

MATT STEWART
Last updated 23:00 31/07/2013

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Police have been accused of being part of a miscarriage of justice that lead to the wrongful conviction of innocent teenager Teina Pora of a rape and murder despiteinvestigators concluding they were looking for a serial rapist.

TV3’s 3rd Degree made the claims tonight and say all the evidence points towards serial rapist Malcolm Rewa who was twice tried for the 1992 murder of Susan Burdett’s murder.

The first jury could not reach a verdict and the second convicted him on the rape charge but was unable to reach a decision on murder.

But despite a flawed police interview and any physical evidence against him - DNA or fingerprints - Pora, who is of limited mental capacity was convicted, even though his evidence was erratic, he was chasing a reward and police had categorically ruled him out as a suspect.

The show revealed that very early on Rewa’s criminal signature was identified by then police psychologist Dr Ian Miller. Rewa was convicted in 1998 for 25 rapes and is still in Paremoremo Prison alongside Pora. After Mrs Burdett’s murder Rewa went on to rape 15 women.

In a statement issued after the programme aired Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess said police ''absolutely reject any suggestion that the investigation into these other rape cases was somehow 'parked' because it was unhelpful to the Pora
case.''

Police investigating the Burdett homicide should have realised sooner that they were looking for a serial rapist and Detective Sergeant Mark Williams had figured that out, 3rd Degree claims.

Mr Williams had concluded there was a link between two unsolved Otahuhu rapes Dr Miller had studied and another one in the same suburb in 1992. He also drew a link between those rapes and Ms Burdett's murder.

Police also stand accused of not sharing vital DNA evidence with Pora’s lawyers during his trial.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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