Malcolm Rewa's stepmother has broken her silence to make a heartfelt apology to Susan Burdett's family, 27 years after he raped and murdered her.

"I am sorry they had to go through this. For 20 years it's been off and on - she hasn't been put to rest," Ruby Lewis told the Herald on Sunday.

"I wouldn't like to wish anything like this on anyone. To the Burdett family, my heart goes out to them,"

As Rewa was convicted on Friday, Lewis was at Otamatea Marae in Maungaturoto where her whanau were preparing for an unveiling. She learned of

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