Susan Burdett's son accused of her murder

By Te Ao Māori News

Malcolm Rewa's lawyer Paul Chambers has accused Susan Burdett's son of murdering her. 

Burdett's body was found in her Papatoetoe home on March 23 1992. She had been raped and suffered fatal injuries inflicted with a softball bat.

Convicted serial rapist Rewa is appearing at the Auckland High Court on trial for the third time changed with her murder. 

At the time of Burdett's murder, Burdett's son Dallas McKay was living in Kamo, Whangarei, where he still resides today. 

During the cross examination, Chambers put it to McKay that on the night of Burdett's death, he had enough time to drive from Whangarei to Burdett's house, kill her and then return to Whangarei. 

McKay denied having any involvement in his mother's death. 

"I'm telling you I did not. I'm not the one on trial here," McKay said. 

Chambers asked a second time whether or not he murdered Susan Burdett, to which he firmly replied "No, I didn't.

Chambers alluded to the fact that Burdett was vigilant when it came to locking her house, therefore a key would be needed to access the property. McKay admitted to having been given two spare keys to his mother's house. 

McKay, at a young age, was adopted and cared for by his grandparents. He didn't meet his mother until he was 20 years old.  He spoke of his mother's love for ten pin bowling.

On the day of her death, he tried calling Susan multiple times but she didn’t answer. McKay stopped calling, assuming she was busy, and went to bed. 

On Wednesday March 25, he heard on the radio that a 39-year-old woman had been murdered in Papatoetoe. He thought nothing of it and continued to work. The news of the murder increased throughout the day.

Concerned for his mother's welfare, McKay called Susan's workplace. 

McKay said he realised straight away that police were treating him as a suspect and searched his home.

Following Burdett's death, McKay inherited a quarter of a million dollars from his mother's life insurance policy. 

Rewa was tried twice for the murder of Susan Burdett.  However, in both trials the jury was unable to reach a verdict.  

In 1998, Rewa was sentenced to 22 years in prison with a minimum non-parole period for 24 incidences of rape committed between 1987-1996. 

He was sentenced to a further 14 years concurrently for the rape of Burdett.