Brother 'positive' of guilt

KATHRYN KING AND FAIRFAX
Last updated 12:00 21/11/2013
Dean Mulligan
ACCUSED IN COURT: Dean Richard Mulligan, of Feilding, on trial in the High Court at Whanganui, accused of murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor.
Marice McGregor
MARICE MCGREGOR: Her badly-decomposed body was found in a ravine off State Highway 4.

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The brother of convicted murderer Dean Richard Mulligan does not believe a jury convicted the wrong man, despite the killer's application to the Court of Appeal for a retrial.

Mulligan, of Feilding, was found guilty of murdering Whanganui woman Marice "Katrina" McGregor, 45, in 2011, a year after her badly beaten body was found in dense bush down a steep bank north of Whanganui.

Mulligan, who was having an affair with Ms McGregor, was sentenced to serve at least 15 years of a life term in jail.

His appeal against his conviction was heard in Wellington yesterday.

In an affidavit, Mulligan said he could not tell the full story when he gave evidence at his trial, and asked for a retrial based on new evidence of drug-dealing relating to two men he says coerced him into confessing to killing Ms McGregor.

He named Phil Morrison as Ms McGregor's killer, and said Morrison and another man, Max Twedale, threatened and sexually abused him until he confessed.

In an affidavit, a psychiatrist said Mulligan had chronic low self-esteem, poor inter-personal skills, and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of childhood sexual abuse.

Sean Mulligan said he remained "100 per cent positive" of his brother's guilt, and he would not be sitting through another jury trial if one was ordered, although he had been told he would probably be called as a witness.

He did not attend the hearing and had thought it was scheduled for later in the month. "I would like to think a retrial won't go ahead."

He had steadfastly refused to visit his brother in prison, but was the only one of Mulligan's immediate family willing to see him when he called for a family meeting earlier this year.

Some extended family weren't so sure of his guilt and had visited him in prison, Mr Mulligan said.

He was the only one of his family to sit through the trial.

"I went to court to hear as much of the truth as I could possibly hear. I think that's the reason why I'm 100 per cent certain." He wouldn't visit him in future unless he "took responsibility for his actions and admitted his guilt".

Ms McGregor's brother, Rowan McGregor, said representatives of their family were in court to hear Mulligan's appeal. Crown Law had been keeping them fully informed of the process, he said.

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While on trial, Mulligan gave multiple different accounts of what happened. Appeal lawyer Julian Hannam conceded that even Mulligan's trial lawyer had described him as an inveterate liar.

Mr Hannam said Mulligan's fear, coupled with his personal characteristics, explained why he was not able to tell what he now said was the full story.

He had counselling and the place where he was jailed made him feel safer about not being "got at".

Crown lawyer Annabel Markham said police tried to find the two men Mulligan named but could not.

The new evidence did not explain how Mulligan felt able to give the evidence he did at trial, that Morrison and Twedale were involved in acts of anal rape, genital torture and murder, but was not able to speak of their involvement in transporting drugs.

Mulligan's latest evidence was not fresh, credible or cogent, she said.

The three judges, headed by Justice Tony Randerson, reserved their decision.

- Manawatu Standard

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