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Sunday: New evidence asks how Mike October was found guilty?

A team of criminal experts and a prominent Queens Counsel is preparing to challenge the convictions of a man jailed 20 years ago for a rape and murder.

Mike October Source: 1 NEWS

Nigel Hampton QC believes his former client Mike October was wrongly convicted, and now hopes to help clear his name.

And TV One's Sunday programme has unearthed new witness evidence which Mr Hampton says should have been heard by the jury.

October was one of three men found guilty of the rape and brutal killing of Anne-Maree Ellens in Christchurch in 1994.

The 22-year-old was found in the grounds of a primary school hours after leaving a nightclub to walk home.

Police alleged October joined two other men, Richard Genge and Samuel Kirner, in taking Anne-Maree to the school and carrying out the crime.

An eyewitness identified October as one of the men with Anne-Maree, although there was no DNA evidence linking him to the scene, and his co-accused told the jury October was never there.

October told police he had been drinking that night and fell asleep in a car. He couldn't account for the hours when Anne-Maree was killed, saying he'd suffered a memory black out.

When questioned by police, he confessed to being at the school and having consensual sex with her. October later recanted the confession and continued to protest his innocence during 11 years in prison.

Mr Hampton believes the case against October never stacked up.

"It seemed to me to fit a pattern of what is now described as confabulation. It's an unconscious trick of the mind, where someone suffering from a memory black out fills that gap with a fabricated story.

"You're trying to piece together what you've done, you start to take in the suggestions of your interrogators, and they become seeds in your own mind. The person inside says well I must have done these things," he says.

A team of experts, including criminologists and forensic pathologists, is now examining October's case, including new evidence from a man who says he's certain October is innocent.

That new witness testimony about where Mike October was the night Anne-Maree was murdered features in a special investigation on Sunday tonight.