Convicted murderer and rapist Teina Pora has been
declined parole, after he was found to have breached his home
leave conditions to visit a prostitute.
Pora was supposed to be with an authorised sponsor and
visiting his daughter at the time of the encounter, the
details of which were revealed in the Parole Board's decision
document, released today after a hearing on October 14.
Pora is now in his 21st year behind bars for the 1992 rape
and murder of Susan Burdett in Papatoetoe, Auckland.
It was his twelfth bid for parole, and while the board said
he has "done well in prison" in recent months, he had failed
to show he could be trusted in the community.
It found that he not only breached his conditions by
soliciting a prostitute in central Auckland during a period
of home leave, but he had also attempted to lie and evade
questioning about the issue when the board confronted him.
"[T]he Board considers, sadly for Mr Pora, that his
credibility was suspect and responses were not aimed at
truthful explanations but rather aimed at deflecting any
blame or adverse comment in relation to him," the decision
Pora was given permission for home leaves to spend time with
his daughter in April, and was reinstated to a work release
scheme as a painter in September.
The board also noted there was concern about the media
interest in Pora's case, saying he had been recognised a
number of times while out in the community during such leave
"Mr Pora advised that at times public attention can be
overwhelming to him," the board noted.
But it was because Pora had shown he is "not able to meet or
adhere to" home leave conditions that it turned his parole
"In the circumstances we conclude he cannot safely be
released at present," the board said.
"It is clear that he has made progress and is well on the way
to re-integration into the community. But he has shown that
he cannot yet be trusted to comply with parole or release
conditions whilst in the community, whether on release
conditions or home leave."
His case will be reviewed in six months time.
Pora was sentenced to life in prison in 1994, aged 17, after
he confessed to the rape and murder of Ms Burdett. However,
he has since protested his innocence.
He was again found guilty at a retrial in 2000, prompted by
the discovery that semen in Ms Burdett's body belonged to
convicted serial rapist Malcolm Rewa.
Pora has applied for leave to appeal his convictions to the
The Labour Party has called for a ministerial inquiry into
his case, but Justice Minister Judith Collins said she would
not act while there was potential for a Privy Council appeal.
He has been eligible for parole since 2003 and was last
before the board in April, when it noted a lighter,
screwdriver and "objectionable item" had been recently found
in his cell.