Rewa to appeal Burdett murder conviction

Malcolm Rewa. Photo: RNZ
Malcolm Rewa. Photo: RNZ

Serial rapist Malcolm Rewa, who was last week found guilty of murdering Susan Burdett, will appeal his conviction.

He had previously been convicted of the Auckland woman's rape, but juries in two separate trials could not decide if he murdered her.

  • This story was first published by RNZ

In last month’s third trial, the jury returned with its unanimous verdict in three hours and 45 minutes.

Rewa’s lawyer, Paul Chambers, told RNZ yesterday Rewa had instructed him to file an appeal by next week.

He said the focus of the appeal would be jury bias as well as a number of pre-trial rulings.

‘‘I think Mr Rewa is just questioning how a jury gets through 400 pages of evidence in less than three hours,’’ he said.

Rewa will be sentenced for the murder this month. 

Ms Burdett was found raped and bludgeoned to death in her Papatoetoe home on 23 March, 1992.

Teina Pora served more than 20 years in jail after falsely confessing to Ms Burdett's murder.

But police officer-turned-private investigator Tim McKinnel led efforts to clear his name, and in 2015, the Privy Council quashed his convictions.

In 2017, he received more than $3.5 million in compensation. It closed one chapter of the Burdett case and reopened another, featuring Rewa front and centre.

The Crown's case was that Rewa murdered Ms Burdett in the course of sexually assaulting her.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes said there was no doubt Rewa's signature style, seen in a number of sex attacks he carried out on other women, was seen in Ms Burdett's case.

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