Sex worker heard about Mob 'tax'

DAVID CLARKSON
Last updated 12:35 19/02/2014
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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A former Christchurch prostitute said she had heard of the Mongrel Mob "taxing" the sex workers but they had never taken money off her.

The woman told the High Court at Christchurch today that she took up sex work through friends who were doing it.

The evidence comes on the eighth day of the trial of Mauha Fawcett, 26, who denies murdering 27-year-old sex worker Mellory Manning.

The former prostitute said she did not have a "minder" but stayed with her friends when she worked.

She said she and her friends used to get drunk and work at the same time, and she was "probably drunk" when she met Fawcett, who was a Mongrel Mob prospect, and another man who was a patched member of the gang.

The two were together a lot, cruising around in a little two-door car.

She said she was aware of the Mongrel Mob taxing sex workers but they had never taken money off her.

"Everyone knew the Mongrel Mob used to take money off the working girls," she said.

She told the trial that she did not know Manning and could not recall the night of December 18, 2008, when the Crown alleges Manning was taken from Manchester St, strangled, stabbed, and beaten to death at a gang property in Avonside, then dumped in the Avon River.

She only saw Fawcett once after that when he stopped the car over the road on Manchester Street, and came to ask briefly if she was all right. He asked if the police had talked to her, then got in the car to drive off, and she never saw him again.

The trial, before Justice David Gendall and a jury, is continuing.

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