Horrific injuries described

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 13:19 13/02/2014
Ngatai
Ngatai "Mellory" Manning.

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A police officer who pulled the body of Christchurch prostitute Mellory Manning from the Avon River has described the horrific injuries he saw.

Mongrel Mob prospect Mauha Huatahi Fawcett is on trial in the High Court in Christchurch, accused of Manning's murder.

Detective Logan Penrose told the trial today he was appointed officer in charge of the scene in Dallington, after a kayaker found Manning's body early on December 19, 2008.

Her body was on the east side of the river, facing Dallington Tce. Her body had been floating with the tide, in water about 1 metre deep. Her feet were bare, and had been just touching the bottom of the river.

Her body was removed from the river at 11.45am, when it was adjacent to Morris St.

Penrose and another officer pulled the body into a basket on the end of a boom.

A black garment, like a cardigan, was over Manning's head. She was wearing a pink skirt or shorts, which were high around her waist. She also wore a blue and white string bikini. He saw a large hole in her forehead, about 3 centimetres long, and a stab wound on her upper left chest, about 1cm long, he said.

A silver folding-style knife was on the riverbed in the river, below her body.

Police could not establish where Manning's body had entered the water.

The riverbank and surrounding streets were carefully searched in the following days.

Items found included a black handbag, which had a Nazi eagle badge on it, in Locksley Ave, a receipt, tissue paper, a kitchen knife, a pair of scissors, underpants and a towel rail.

Rubbish collected from the river by a City Care truck was also searched. Items of interest recovered by police included makeup, shoes and a comb.

Manning had been seen wearing black ankle boots when standing on her corner the previous night. Those were not found.

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- The Press

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