Friday, March 18, 2016

Bulletin: Teina Pora: 'In Dark Places: The Confessions of Teina Pora and an Ex-Cop's Fight for Justice.' New book on Teina Pora, by author Michael Bennett published today - Friday March 18, 2016 - tells of an investigator's personal crusade to clear an innocent man who was finally freed after losing 21 years of his young life in prison;

"Teina Pora, convicted for a murder he did not commit and wrongly imprisoned for 21 years, needs an apology, according to a new book out on Friday. In Dark Places: The Confessions of Teina Pora and an Ex-Cop's Fight for Justice, writer Michael Bennett lays out the many strands of Pora's story over the course of 23 years — from the morning a 17-year-old car thief was picked up by police, to the night the Privy Council in London quashed his convictions. Pora was wrongly convicted of the 1992 rape and murder of 39-year-old Susan Burdett at her Papatoetoe home. He gave police a false confession, motivated by a $20,000 reward for information.........The book, which tells of investigator Tim McKinnel's six-year personal crusade to get Pora released from prison, shines a light on the likelihood that other New Zealanders are falsely imprisoned — especially those with FASD, or foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which affects Pora. Dr Valerie McGinn diagnosed Pora with FASD in 2013, which was helpful for the team pushing his case, but also devastating. "For the man for whom they feel such affection and respect, FASD is another life sentence," writes Bennett, also a filmmaker, who made a documentary about Pora, Confessions of Prisoner T.  "But this sentence, no one can ever overturn." Dr McGinn estimates about 20 per cent of the prison population may have undiagnosed FASD. It affects a sufferer's ability to remember things, articulate their thoughts, understand questions and think through the consequences of their actions. The book, published by Paul Little Books, also concludes that Susan Burdett's true killer must now be brought to justice........Bennett also tells the story from the perspectives of lawyer Marie Dyhrberg, who represented Pora at his retrial in 2000; Jonathan Krebs, who led the Privy Council appeal; and members of Pora's family."