Teina Pora’s baptism changed him for good.

Everything changed for Teina Pora after he was baptised by a fellow inmate using water from a prison laundry tub 11 years ago.

He says he forgives the police who charged him with the 1992 rape and murder of Susan Burdett.

Pora was convicted twice for this offence and spent 21 years in jail.

In March the Privy Council quashed his convictions and recommended he not be put on trial again.

After his baptism he taught himself to read using a pocket bible. “I’m a different person now. Humble. In the past I’d have been, yeah, aggressive.”

He says he has lost his anger and his attitude. “I don’t have anything towards anyone anymore.”

Pora said for the first two years he marked time, keeping note of each passing day. “And you just get sick of it. It was slowing down everything.”

Years passed between visitors.

“As the years went on I just started to realise no one cared, so I might as well live the lifestyle of being in prison, the art and craft of being in there.”

Five years ago Pora’s case was taken up by a former detective Tim McKinnel.

His work led to Pora’s convictions being quashed.


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News category: New Zealand.

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