Mellory Manning killer appeals conviction

NICOLE MATHEWSON
Last updated 14:28 11/06/2014
Mauha Huatahi Fawcett
Fairfax NZ

CONVICTED MURDERER: Mauha Huatahi Fawcett was sentenced to life in jail for the murder of Christchurch sex worker Mellory Manning.

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The Mongrel Mob prospect jailed for life for the murder of Christchurch sex worker Mellory Manning has lodged an appeal. 

Mauha Huatahi Fawcett, 26, was sentenced to at least 20 years in jail for his part in the murder of Ngatai "Mellory" Manning in December 2008.

On the night of her death, Manning, 27, was lured from the corner of Manchester and Peterborough streets and driven to a Mongrel Mob pad in Galbraith Ave, Avonside.

She was then stabbed, strangled, sexually violated and bashed with weapons by a group of mobsters before her half-naked body was dumped in the Avon River.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman confirmed Fawcett lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence on May 14. 

A date for an appeal hearing had not yet been set, she said. 

Fawcett conducted his own defence during his six-week trial in February and March. 

His former lawyer, barrister Craig Ruane, was appointed as amicus curiae, meaning counsel to assist the court.

Fawcett told the jury he made a false confession to police because he was "coached" into it, or that he was high on methamphetamine.

The Crown said Manning's murder was a "planned hit" organised by senior Mongrel Mob members, either because she owed the gang a drug debt or did not pay "tax" to the mob when she worked on the street.

After the jury found Fawcett guilty, police said their inquiry was not over, as others were "clearly involved" in Manning's death.

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- The Press

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