21 Oct 2013

Teina Pora denied parole

3:59 pm on 21 October 2013

Convicted murderer Teina Pora, who has spent two decades behind bars for crimes he says he did not commit, has been denied parole.

Pora has been twice convicted of raping and murdering Susan Burdett, whose body was found in her South Auckland home in 1992.

The 38-year-old maintains his innocence, and there have been growing calls for his case to be reviewed.

The Parole Board released its decision on Monday, a week after Pora appeared before it at Auckland Prison at Paremoremo.

In it, the board said he remains an undue risk to the safety of the community. It says that unfortunately, as was the case for declining parole last time, Pora has once again defied or breached conditions which he knew related to home leave.

At the hearing, Pora revealed that while on a home leave visit, he was out in Auckland with a friend he met in prison when he obtained the services of a prostitute.

The board said the problem is not Pora's involvement with the prostitute, but that he breached conditions of his home leave by being in contact with a known criminal and being unaccompanied by his sponsor.

Pora's lawyer Jonathan Krebs says his client is upset at the suggestion he tried to mislead the board over the incident involving a visit to a prostitute.

The board says Pora did not give out this information until he faced extreme questioning, and tried to evade explaining how he breached his conditions.

But Mr Krebs said Pora didn't try to mislead the board, but was coy about talking about an intimate episode to a group of more than a dozen strangers.

Pora, whose next parole hearing will be in six months, is still trying to have his case heard by the Privy Council in London.

Another of his lawyers, Ingrid Squire, said Pora is disappointed about the parole decision, but remains optimistic over his chances with the Privy Council.