Phil Taylor is a Weekend Herald and New Zealand Herald senior staff writer.

British profiling expert backs Henwood on Burdett case

Dave Henwood. Photo / File
Dave Henwood. Photo / File

A British criminal-profiling expert agrees with a senior police officer who was censured for telling the Herald he believes an innocent man has been in jail for 20 years for a 1992 rape and murder.

Dave Henwood, an award-winning criminal profiler, was reprimanded after he said last year that he had no doubt Teina Pora, who has twice been convicted of the rape and murder of Susan Burdett, is innocent.

A national headquarters spokesman last month said Mr Henwood, a retired detective senior sergeant who still works for the police in a non-sworn role, was spoken to "regarding a breach of police instructions".

Now, Professor Laurence Alison, the chair of forensic psychology at Liverpool University, has concluded it is "highly unlikely" Malcolm Rewa would have worked with any co-offender, let alone Pora.

"It is by far most probable that Rewa acted alone," Dr Alison said in a report commissioned for Pora who is seeking a review of his case.

"These conclusions would have been much harder to arrive at at the time of Teina Pora's appeal since far less was known about behavioural profiling and specific co-offending patterns in rape," he said.

Malcolm Rewa was convicted of raping Ms Burdett after it was discovered it was his semen in her body but two juries could not reach a verdict on whether Rewa murdered her.

Rewa was convicted of solo sex attacks on 24 other women in a trial based on Mr Henwood's profiling.

But Mr Henwood was not called by the Crown for Pora's retrial in 2000 or by the defence which was unaware of his view that Pora was innocent.

- NZ Herald

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