Manning's DNA found on knife

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 12:46 17/02/2014
Mauha Huatahi Fawcett
John Kirk-Anderson
ACCUSED: Mauha Huatahi Fawcett appears in the Christchurch High Court. He denies murdering Ngatai "Mellory" Manning.
Ngatai
Ngatai "Mellory" Manning.

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DNA that was likely from murder victim Ngatai "Mellory" Manning was found on a knife retrieved from the Avon River after her body was found, the trial of the man accused of her killing was told in the High Court at Christchurch today.

Environmental Science and Research forensic scientist Jayshree Patel told the court she carried out a DNA profile on a sample taken from the "inside handle" of the knife.

She said a "combined partial DNA profile" was found on the knife which could have originated from the 27-year-old sex worker.

Her testing showed there was strong scientific support for the DNA having come from Manning.

The knife was recovered from the Avon River near where her body was found on the morning of December 19, 2008.

She could not exclude the possibility that the material had been transferred to the knife as a result of it being in the river near Manning's bloodstained body.

A genital swab from Manning's body showed that at least three individuals had contributed DNA to the sample, including Manning. A DNA profile from an identified person referred to as "Male B" was found as part of the testing, and there were trace amounts of another person's DNA but they were unsuitable for further comparison.

The inquiry into Manning's murder included a large number of DNA reference samples from people involved in the inquiry.

The trial was told of analysis of DNA found in used condoms found at exterior sites in the city used by sex workers.

Mongrel Mob prospect Mauha Huatahi Fawcett, 26, denies a charge of murdering Manning, who is also known as Ngatai Lynette Manning.

The Crown alleges she was taken from Manchester Street and beaten to death by Mongrel Mob members at a gang house in Galbraith Avenue, Avonside, before her body was dumped in the Avon River. She had been bashed, strangled and stabbed.

The Crown alleges she was murdered because of claimed debts to the gang for drugs or a "tax" on sex workers.

The trial before Justice Gendall and a jury is in its second week.

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- The Press

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