It's taken half a lifetime but former Napier man Wayne Montaperto has hope his child abduction and indecency convictions will be overturned.
The 1988 convictions may been tainted by a jury foreman's revelation to his panel that the man in the dock was a Teresa Cormack homicide suspect.
Now 64 and living in Auckland, Montaperto has been granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy enabling him to lodge a new appeal over what he says wrongfully led to a sentence of three years' jail.
His original trial was conducted amid public baying for results in the investigation of the unrelated abduction and murder of six-year-old Cormack in Napier in 1987.
It related to offences alleged to have been committed in Flaxmere, but was moved to Wellington after a judge accepted it would be a struggle for Montaperto to get a fair trial in Napier.
The jury was not supposed to know anything about the suspicions Montaperto had been involved in Cormack's death.
But interest was heightened when claims were published that police had a man in custody on unrelated charges, but expected to lay a murder charge.
It was a claim that five years later led to Montaperto bound, gagged and bashed with a spade and a car jack wielded by a man sparked by a woman's claims she knew Montaperto was involved.
He suffered multiple head fractures, to the skull, nose, cheek, and jaw, and a broken leg.
Montaperto was ultimately cleared of any suspicion in the murder inquiry, after almost 15 years, when advances in scientific evidence testing nailed actual killer Jules Mikus in 2002.
But Montaperto has had to wait more than twice as long to be cleared of the allegations which put in him jail, and which he believes were trumped-up by police desperate after being unable to make a homicide inquiry arrest.
Montaperto, who could not be contacted for this article, also believes police were behind the Wellington jury foremen being told he was the prime Cormack inquiry suspect.
A breakthrough for Montaperto came in 2008 when a juror who had heard of Montaperto's fight for justice wrote to Auckland barrister Ron Mansfield, saying: "I may have some information with this appeal that may or may not be useful...".
The jury foreman conceded to independent lawyer Steve Bonnar QC that during the trial a former workmate told him Montaperto was a prime suspect in the Cormack inquiry, and that he had passed that information on to other members of the panel before they reached their verdicts in the Flaxmere case.
Montaperto applied to the Governor General (then Sir Jerry Mateparae) in 2014 for a Royal Prerogative of Mercy.
It led to a Ministry of Justice report this year and current Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy's consent in May for the case to be referred back to the Court of Appeal.
More than 90 per cent of such applications fail, but among those who have succeeded is Arthur Allan Thomas. He was cleared of the 1970 farmhouse murders of Harvey and Jeannette Crew after serving nine years in jail.
Another success was Teina Pora, who served more than 20 years in jail before being cleared of the murder of Susan Burdett in 1992.
The official secretary to the Governor-General wrote on confirming that Montaperto's application had been granted that it was "on the ground that there is apparently credible evidence about potentially prejudicial information having been passed to jury members at Mr Montaperto's trial".
Montaperto had no convictions for child sex offending but had a conviction for indecent exposure in what he once described as "exhibitionist" younger days.
He was linked to the Flaxmere incident by police claiming his vehicle had been involved, and relying also on what Montaperto said was flawed identification procedure.
Leave to apply to the Court of Appeal had been denied to Montaperto in 1989.