Cafe and a climb on first day of freedom

Teina Pora toasts freedom with a bottle of soft drink yesterday morning. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Teina Pora toasts freedom with a bottle of soft drink yesterday morning. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Teina Pora enjoyed a cafe visit and a trip up Auckland's Sky Tower on his first day of freedom.

He was released from prison on parole yesterday morning, and was spotted sitting at a central-city cafe where he had a bottle of soft drink and a coffee before heading up the Sky Tower.

Construction on the Sky Tower began in 1994 - the year after Pora was arrested for the rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

Pora, who says he falsely confessed to the crimes, has been in jail for 21 years.

The 38-year-old was granted parole late last month, having earlier been denied bail by the High Court at Auckland.

That application was made ahead of a scheduled Privy Council hearing in London this year, where Pora will appeal against his convictions for violating and killing Ms Burdett.

Pora's lawyer, Jonathan Krebs, was unable to say much about his client's release because of a parole condition that forbids him from having any direct or indirect contact with the media.

"I just hope that the media and everybody else leaves him alone and allows him to get on with the process of reintegration into the community after 21 years," Mr Krebs said.

At his first trial in 1994, Pora was found guilty of the murder of Ms Burdett, who was beaten with a softball bat in the bedroom of her South Auckland home in 1992.

He had confessed to police but a retrial was ordered as doubts began to emerge about his involvement.

After that first trial, serial rapist Malcolm Rewa was convicted for raping Ms Burdett.

Rewa's DNA was found at the scene and at Pora's retrial in 2000, the Crown argued the two acted together. Pora was again found guilty but has now been granted leave to appeal against the convictions. Staff reporter

- NZ Herald

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