6 Nov 2014

Privy Council reserves Pora decision

8:18 am on 6 November 2014

The Privy Council in London has reserved its decision on the Teina Pora case, after a two-day hearing.

Teina Pora.

Teina Pora. Photo: TVNZ / One News

The 39-year-old, who was granted parole earlier this year, was fighting to clear his name after twice being convicted of the rape and murder of Susan Burdett in Auckland in 1992.

Pora had served 21 years in prison but maintained his innocence.

In summing up, Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs pointed to inconsistencies in what Pora told police.

Mr Krebs said he had given numerous explanations of how he and other offenders had got inside Ms Burdett's South Auckland unit.

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"The position was ultimately reached after various and multiple descriptions of three offenders going through a window, going through a sliding door, going through a door, one offender through a window and so-forth."

Mr Krebs said Pora also spoke of turning a knob on a door, but a photo of the door showed it was necessary to turn a lever as-well, and he had never spoken of a lever.

The defence case was that Pora was born with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder and that meant he had a drive to please others, including police officers during an interview.

The Crown, however, said a jury would still convict Pora, despite the new evidence.

Solicitor General Michael Heron QC said that suggestibility could go both ways, and made reference to evidence that linked serial rapist Malcolm Rewa to the case.

Rewa was convicted of 24 sexual attacks, including one on Ms Burdett.

"The Crown case is that he, led by older men, in particular Mr Rewa, took place in a criminal enterprise that ended in murder."

Mr Heron said Pora had accepted that he was exploited by the Mongrel Mob and that new expert evidence, when put in context, would have little impact on a jury.

A picture of Teina Pora provided by police in the early 1990's.

A picture of Teina Pora provided by police in the early 1990's. Photo: FILE

Crown lawyer Mathew Downs also addressed the defence argument that serial rapist Rewa would have acted alone when he attacked Ms Burdett because he had erectile dysfunction and would have been embarrassed.

Dr Downs said while the defence case was that Rewa covered the faces of his victims because he was embarrassed about his condition, evidence showed Rewa did this to protect his identity.

Rewa's DNA was found at the scene and Dr Downs said he was a confident offender who attacked 27 women over eight and-a-half years.

The Privy Council was expected to deliver its decision over the case early next year.

Lawyers 'happy with hearing'

Mr Krebs said he was satisfied with the proceedings and that his team were pleased with the hearing at the Privy Council.

Jonathan Krebs

Jonathan Krebs outside the Privy Council in London following the case. Photo: RNZ / Tim Graham

"We believe we've had a very fair hearing all of the issues have been appropriately discussed and now we will sit back and make not further comment until we know what the outcome is and there's no predicting really other than the length of time other judgements have take from this court as to when that might be."

The private investigator behind the case said Pora was happy with the way his hearing went at the Privy Council in London.

Speaking outside court Tim McKinnel said Pora was in good form and had been watching a live stream of the case online.

"He's pretty happy with what's happening, he's seen some real progress over the last couple of days, he's kept his head down, hasn't paid too much attention to media coverage and is just sort of accepting our reports about what's happened in court."

Mr McKinnel said it would be an anxious wait for the council's decision.

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