Malcolm Rewa will appeal his conviction for murdering Susan Burdett, claiming "jury bias".

The serial rapist was found guilty last Friday of murdering Burdett in her South Auckland home in March 1992.

It was his third trial for the murder charge, having already been convicted of the accounts clerk's rape.

After a two-week trial this month, the jury returned a unanimous guilty decision for the 66-year-old.

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Rewa's lawyer Paul Chambers told the Herald today the appeal will focus on jury bias, propensity evidence, physical evidence, the lifting of the stay of the murder charge, and suppression orders.

He said he had visited Rewa this morning in prison and said he was "holding up well" following the verdict.

However, a point of contention was how quickly the jury returned its verdict - less than four hours.

Chambers said it was "one of the indicators of jury bias".

Paul Chambers, Malcom Rewa's lawyer, says he will take the case to the Court of Appeal. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Paul Chambers, Malcom Rewa's lawyer, says he will take the case to the Court of Appeal. Photo / Jason Oxenham

"I think I said [after the verdict] that it took them three-and-a-half-hours, but that is probably being generous because of course they had an hour-long lunch break," he said.

The Auckland-based lawyer said he will seek leave with the Court of Appeal for the challenge before next month's sentencing for Rewa.

Rewa's two previous trials in 1998 resulted in both juries being unable to reach a verdict on the murder charge.

A 1998 stay, blocking the murder charge against Rewa, was lifted in 2017 by the Deputy Solicitor-General, Brendan Horsley, on behalf of the Attorney-General, which allowed this month's trial to proceed.

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After last week's verdict, Chambers said Rewa "always felt he was going into this with a likelihood that it would be hard to get a fair trial".

"It's difficult for the jury to not be swayed by the evidence that was brought in by propensity," he said.

The Court of Appeal had permitted the Crown prosecutors to use Rewa's previous rape convictions as evidence of a pattern of offending.

Malcolm Rewa was convicted of Susan Burdett's murder last week. Photo / Michael Craig
Malcolm Rewa was convicted of Susan Burdett's murder last week. Photo / Michael Craig

Twenty of Rewa's 25 rape cases were used as evidence in the trial, several of which included the victim having had their legs crossed or dangling over the bed, their eyes blindfolded, and top half covered.

Burdett was found by a friend lying naked on her bed, her upper half covered with a blood-soaked blue duvet, and her legs crossed and hanging over the side of the bed.

The 39-year-old had been bludgeoned to death with the baseball bat she kept for protection.

Crown prosecutor Gareth Kayes said Rewa, after entering through a window, surprised Burdett as she prepared for bed - a style of attack he was known for.

During pre-trial hearings, Chambers also argued historical media publicity was prejudicial to Rewa's case.

He told the jury Burdett knew her killer and accused her son Dallas McKay of the murder.

McKay had inherited $250,000 from his mum's life insurance policy after she altered her will, the court heard.

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

Rewa, who gave evidence in his own defence, also claimed he was in a secret sexual relationship with Burdett - which he said explained his semen being found at the crime scene.

After the guilty verdict, private investigator Tim McKinnel described it as "justice merged with truth".

He, along with lawyers and journalists, had fought against one of this country's great injustices - the prosecution of Teina Pora.

When just 17, Pora was arrested and twice wrongly convicted for killing Burdett.

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

Private investigator Tim McKinnel, who fought for Teina Pora's innocence, described Malcolm Rewa as a
Private investigator Tim McKinnel, who fought for Teina Pora's innocence, described Malcolm Rewa as a "monster". Photo / Jason Oxenham

"It always involved two families - Teina's and Susan's, you couldn't deal with one without the other," McKinnel said.

He described Rewa as a "monster" but said people like him were not born that way.

For Pora, it was a day he had been waiting for after being wrongly punished for a crime he never committed, McKinnel said.