Lifting Rewa’s stay of prosecution

There is no doubt that Malcolm Rewa has committed some despicable crimes. However he has not been found guilty of the murder of Susan Burdett in 1992, despite two trials, the second in 1998 (he was found guilty of rape).

Now moves to re-try Rewa have raised legal eyebrows.

RNZ:  Lifting Rewa’s stay of prosecution ‘unprecedented’

A move to revise a stay of prosecution on serial rapist Malcolm Rewa for the murder of Susan Burdett has not been done in New Zealand before, the Criminal Bar Association president says.

Police described the case as a “complex legal situation,” and the Criminal Bar Association’s president Len Anderson said as far as he knows, it has never been done before.

Police said yesterday Solicitor General Una Jagose had reviewed the stay of prosecution and would now apply to the High Court to re-try Rewa.

In a statement, police said the legal case was “without precedent” and they were following advice from Crown Law on what they needed to do.

“The next steps will be to seek leave of the High Court to file a fresh indictment.”

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said a team of homicide detectives was now working on the case, in the event that a third trial was granted.

Mr Anderson said he was not aware of a situation where a stay had been lifted.

“The expectation was once a stay was granted that was it. That was the end of the matter like a conviction or acquittal.”

He said the case had “very usual circumstances” because someone was already serving time for Ms Burdett’s murder during Rewa’s first and second trial.

“I would have thought that if there was a situtation where it was appropiate for the stay to be lifted then this would be it. The question is can it be done. Obviously, Crown Law has decided they can lift it.”

Burdett was murdered 25 years ago, so it is a long time later to prosecute for it. I wonder why now?

Also from RNZ:

23 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  May 17, 2017

    I gather Rewa is serving a sentence of preventive detention. It would be good to see him tried again for this crime.

  2. Chuck Bird

     /  May 17, 2017

    John Barlow was convicted of a double murder in a third trial after two hung juries.

  3. Brown

     /  May 17, 2017

    Waste of time and money – I suspect sought partly to placate a police collective guilty conscience over the shambles that saw a man, a reasonable suspect possibly, wrongly charged by badged buffoons. If Gezza is correct Rewa should just stay inside because any decision to release him is discretionary.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 17, 2017

      You cannot be serious in that belief, nobody could be. That would and could never be a reason for a trial-dream on.

      • Brown

         /  May 17, 2017

        My point is that I think its a waste of time and money but the police need to tidy up loose ends to make things, well, tidy because they stuffed up. They have already pushed this twice and failed have they not? I’m not saying its not doable but it just seems so darn pointless when the suspect is already locked up and should stay there. For that reason I think the police have a ego problem and wounded pride. If Rewa gets convicted they will be able to proudly proclaim they got their man.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 18, 2017

          You have no idea. Being a suspect doesn’t mean that he has been convicted and been found guilty of a crime that it is almost certain that he did. Trials are extremely expensive and not carried out to make the police feel good. That is very naive thinking.

  4. Chuck Bird

     /  May 17, 2017

    Brown, there have been many convicted killers who have been released and killed again. The release was discretionary.

  5. Patu

     /  May 17, 2017

    I fail to see what this will achieve, other than wasting a lot of money & making Rewa’s life a little more entertaining

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 17, 2017

      I suspect it would make Burdett’s family feel justice has been served and through that the wider community. Police mistakes should not stand in the way of justice.

  6. Patu

     /  May 17, 2017

    @Alan
    Bollocks. Why bother with a trial, when all it will change is the bank balance of a lawyer Rewa isnt paying for?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 17, 2017

      I just told you why. I can’t help it if you can’t see and feel it. Try asking Burdett’s family.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  May 17, 2017

        It would be nice to do her the courtesy of not referring to her by her surname only.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 17, 2017

          I’m referring to her family, not her and responding in kind to a comment that references Rewa by his surname only.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  May 18, 2017

            ‘Burdett’s family’ can only mean the family OF Burdett, not ‘the Burdett family.’ This is referring to Susan Burdett by her surname, which is a discourtesy.

  7. Patu

     /  May 17, 2017

    They have refused to comment, as far as I am aware Alan. How would you feel if he got another hung jury?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  May 17, 2017

      Then I would feel the Solicitor General and prosecution service had done a poor job unless the defence had produced unexpected evidence casting sufficient doubt on his guilt.

      Why would I feel any different about this case than that of any other multiple murderer?

      • Patu

         /  May 17, 2017

        He isn’t a multiple murderer, he has only allegedly murdered one woman. He has, however, raped over twenty, and in all likelihood will die in jail, with or without another conviction.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  May 17, 2017

          I guess that is another reason to try him, Patu.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  May 17, 2017

      Patu, Prior to this announcement Susan Burdett’s family, particularly her brother were calling for another trial. I believe Jim Burdett did not comment on legal advice as Rewa’s former lawyer already claiming Rewa cannot get a fair trial.

      • Patu

         /  May 17, 2017

        I just don’t see the point in it. Guilty, he rots in jail forever, not guilty, same applies. What difference will it make? It won’t bring her back, and sure as hell won’t make the bastard any sorrier than he already isn’t. He’s bleeding enough out of the taxpayer already by being incarcerated, and should have been shot years ago IMHO.

  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  May 17, 2017

    I am sure that I read that some woman-someone with a profession, so someone who should have had more sense-married Malcolm Rewa in prison. How COULD any woman marry someone who’d done those things to other women-including at least one very young girl ?

  9. Chuck Bird

     /  May 17, 2017

    You are a woman. You tell us.

  10. Chuck Bird

     /  May 18, 2017

    Kitty, you are right about Rewa being married will on remand. One thing you may not understand about psychopaths is that they often have an above average IQ. They are also extremely manipulative.

    Rewa was sentenced to a minimum of 22 years for multiple rapes in May 1996. He will be eligible for parole in 2018 even although he also was sentenced to preventive detention. The parole board will no be able to consider the he is very likely to have murdered Susan Burdett. If he is not convicted of her murder he is likely to get out in the next 10 years. When he appears before the parole board I am sure he will say he is extremely remorseful. He may ever have found God.

    If the police had of done their job properly there would have been far less rapes and Susan Barrett would not have been murdered.