Murder victim 'met men for sex'

17:00, Jun 07 2011
Feilding 5
MARICE McGREGOR: Body found May 13. On May 25, Feilding man Dean Mulligan, 42, was charged with her murder.

Dean Mulligan was not the only internet friend Marice McGregor met for sex before she was murdered, a court has been told.

Statements from three other men she met on the NZDating website were read to the court on the ninth day of Mulligan's murder trial in the High Court at Whanganui yesterday.

Mulligan, 43, a former computer technician from Feilding, is accused of murdering Whanganui sickness beneficiary Ms McGregor, 45, on April 19 last year.

ACCUSED IN COURT: Dean Richard Mulligan, of Feilding,  on trial in the High Court at Whanganui, accused of murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor.
ACCUSED IN COURT: Dean Richard Mulligan, of Feilding, on trial in the High Court at Whanganui, accused of murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor.

The Crown says he hit her on the head three times with an iron bar in a remote area about 50 kilometres north of Whanganui.

He confessed to the murder on May 25 last year but now claims he lied to protect himself and his family from two men, who he says are really responsible. He says the men, who both have name suppression, killed Ms McGregor in a drug deal that went wrong.

The Crown says his latest version of events is fantasy, including the existence of the two men.

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ACCUSED IN COURT: Dean Richard Mulligan, of Feilding,  on trial in the High Court at Whanganui, accused of murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor.
ACCUSED IN COURT: Dean Richard Mulligan, of Feilding, on trial in the High Court at Whanganui, accused of murdering Whanganui woman Marice McGregor.

Yesterday, the defence had three statements from NZDating users who arranged sexual encounters with Ms McGregor, to show she did not always keep the safest company. The names of all three men were suppressed.

One of the men, who met Ms McGregor online in 2006, said they had sex about five times over the course of a year. They would park in a secluded but public area each time. The man routinely arrived to find Ms McGregor reading hardcore pornography, he said.

The meetings eventually became "too weird" for him and he told Ms McGregor that she was "playing a dangerous game" by meeting men this way.

Earlier, Crown prosecutor Lance Rowe asked Mulligan why he had not made any entries in the cash book of his Legless Computers business in the 18 months that he was involved with Ms McGregor.

More than $20,000 was deposited into Mulligan's bank account during that time, but his cash book had no sales listed.

Mulligan said there were five or six cash sales he forgot to enter. It was just a coincidence that he forgot, despite regularly using his cash book to record business expenses, he said.

During this time, Ms McGregor made $51,000 of withdrawals from her investment account and made cash deposits to Mulligan of about $25,000, Mr Rowe said.

Mulligan denied he was getting the money from Ms McGregor and that it was a motive for murder.

The trial continues today.

The Dominion Post