"You can be sure he's guilty of murder."

Those are the words of Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes as he addresses the jury considering the third trial of Malcolm Rewa for the final time this morning.

"The accused, Malcolm Rewa, entered Susan Burdett's home uninvited … he raped her, he murdered her," Kayes said to begin his address.

However, defence lawyer Paul Chambers argues too much of the case has been left to speculation, while a key witness' evidence corroborates Rewa's version of events.


Kayes even conceded it may never be known what truly happened - but he was convinced of who was responsible for Burdett's death.

"We won't know what happened on that night, only the accused is alive to tell us," he said.

During the past two weeks in the High Court at Auckland, all the evidence the Crown and defence could muster has been delivered.

But it has told two different stories about the killing of the 39-year-old accounts clerk in her Papatoetoe home in March 1992.

"You can be sure he's guilty of murder for two main reasons," Kayes said of Rewa. "The first is that the attack on Susan Burdett had all the hallmarks of a typical Rewa sexual assault."

Rewa was convicted of Burdett's rape in 1998 - but two juries that year were unable to decide whether he was also responsible for her death.

The 65-year-old serial rapist, who is serving a preventive detention sentence for raping several women in the 80s and 90s, had a "very distinctive way of sexually assaulting women", Kayes said.

"Susan Burdett was attacked in that very same distinctive way."

Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes. Photo / Michael Craig
Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes. Photo / Michael Craig

The second reason, Kayes explained, was Rewa's semen being found inside Burdett.

"The accused claims that he was in a secret sexual relationship with Susan Burdett," he said.

But it was not consensual sex in the living room of Rewa's house, just hours before Burdett was killed, Kayes suggested.

"He has made up this whole story, he's trying to explain away a very difficult piece of evidence."

Chambers, however, has accused Burdett's son Dallas McKay of killing his mum for financial gain.

McKay, Chambers said, lied about knowledge of Burdett changing her will - leaving her son with a $250,000 inheritance.

He had "means, motive and opportunity" to kill his mother, Chambers said.

McKay has categorically denied murdering his birth mum after the pair reconnected when he was 20.

"The Crown says that every aspect of the defence case is demonstrably false," Kayes said.

Malcolm Rewa's lawyer Paul Chambers has accused Susan Burdett's son of the killing. Photo / Michael Craig
Malcolm Rewa's lawyer Paul Chambers has accused Susan Burdett's son of the killing. Photo / Michael Craig

Yesterday, Winsome Ansty told the court Burdett - her "best friend" - had asked her to keep a secret about a Māori man she was seeing.

In his closing address, Chambers said her evidence is "reliable and credible" despite her potentially suffering from PTSD.

The lawyer, who revealed he also suffers from PTSD after a traumatic event, said "the memories are not lost, they are suppressed".

"When they return they are clear and unequivocal," he said.

A Herald story in 2012, Chambers explained, had not helped Ansty create a false memory - as Kayes has suggested - but rather helped trigger a buried memory.

"You might have thought that the description of the Māori man, maybe that's got something to do with the accused?" Kayes said, addressing Ansty's evidence.

But, Kayes said, the mystery man was in fact another person Burdett had met while tenpin bowling - a competitive sport she loved.

Ansty's evidence was "wholly unreliable", he said. "She has got the whole thing hopelessly garbled."

Malcolm Rewa, sitting in the dock during his third murder trial in the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig
Malcolm Rewa, sitting in the dock during his third murder trial in the High Court at Auckland. Photo / Michael Craig

Rewa, Kayes said, also displayed "inconsistencies" in his evidence from the third trial and the previous two in 1998.

"He has tried to embellish lies he had already told in other trials," the prosecutor told the jury.

Lies, Kayes alleged, which stretched from the type of vehicle Rewa had at the time to the thickness of the toilet paper at his home to help Rewa corroborate his evidence.

But the Crown has changed its basis for seeking a murder conviction for Rewa, Chambers said.

Phantom gang members and a false confession had been relied on to aid the Crown's case in the past, the lawyer said.

When Rewa gave evidence earlier this week, the first time he has done so on camera, he detailed the claimed relationship with Burdett.

The pair, he told the court, would have sex at the summit of Māngere Mountain and watch the sunset. Rewa also claimed they would have sex in his big American truck.

When talking of the night Burdett was killed, Rewa said they had split an ecstasy pill together before having sex on his couch.

Rewa's 8-year-old and 5-year-old children where also allegedly in the house.

Susan Burdett was killed in her Auckland home in March 1992. Photo / Supplied
Susan Burdett was killed in her Auckland home in March 1992. Photo / Supplied

"Do you really think Susan Burdett took half a pill of ecstasy after all the evidence you've heard?" Kayes asked the jury, while alluding to friends of Burdett's who have said she didn't have predilection for drugs or alcohol.

"It's a fiction ... The accused's version just doesn't have the ring of truth around it."

While it was an agreed fact Rewa had met Burdett at her workplace, Kayes asked: "Do you really think she was having a relationship with Malcolm Rewa? [The] sergeant at arms, or a high-ranking member of a bike club."

Kayes alleges Rewa climbed through Burdett's window and surprised her as she was getting ready for bed on March 23, before he raped, and murdered her with the baseball bat she kept for protection.

The court has also heard how Teina Pora was twice wrongly convicted for murdering Burdett on the back of a false confession.

He spent 22 years in prison before the Privy Council quashed his conviction in 2015 and has since received an apology from the Government and $3.5 million in compensation.

Rewa's current trial was able to proceed after a 1998 stay of proceedings for a murder prosecution was reversed two years ago by the Deputy Solicitor-General.

A stay had never before been lifted in New Zealand's legal history.