Manning 'murder a planned hit'

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 12:19 06/03/2014
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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The murder of Christchurch sex worker Mellory Manning was "a planned hit" by the Mongrel Mob, and Mauha Huatahi Fawcett helped carry it out, a jury has heard. 

The Crown is delivering its closing address in the High Court in Christchurch this morning, nearly four weeks after the murder trial began. 

Fawcett, 26, is defending a charge of murdering the 27-year-old sex worker on the night of December 18, 2008. 

Manning was stabbed, strangled, raped and bashed with weapons - the Crown says by a group at the Aotearoa Mongrel Mob pad in Galbraith Ave, Avonside - before her body was dumped in the Avon River.

Crown prosecutor Philip Shamy told the jury there was "no doubt" the killing was murder. 

Her injuries were "horrendous". 

"Whoever did that wanted her dead."

It was clear others were involved in the murder, and "in all likelihood" more so than Fawcett.

However, "there is nothing forensically that links anyone else, except this male B, and we don't know who he is".

Others may face charges after Fawcett was "dealt with on this charge" and potentially became a witness for the Crown, Shamy said.

Right now, the jury only needed to decide what role Fawcett played, Shamy said. 

Being party to murder was still murder. 

Shamy said the jury could convict Fawcett of manslaughter if they believed Fawcett was among the group involved in the killing, but that they did not have murderous intent.

Shamy said Fawcett, a Mongrel Mob prospect at the time, knew Manning could come to serious harm that night. 

There was a meeting called by a patched Mongrel Mob member earlier in the evening. 

Manning owed a patched Mongrel Mob member money either for drugs or not paying "tax" for her jobs when working on Manchester St. 

Once Manning was taken to the pad, it was "murder without hesitation", Shamy said. 

Manning's last text message at 10.43pm to the splash heard on Avonside Drive about 11pm also showed it happened quickly.

"It was a plan. This was not random."

"They're a group. They're together, that's what they are doing. It's one in, all in."

"That's why they are standing there barking and Sieg Heiling."

Moreover, he had no need to admit to his own involvement. 

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"If you are going to nark out people, why nark out yourself? It doesn't make sense."

Fawcett told police in an interview he hit Manning with a pole during the attack because he was told to by a mobster. 

He also said he was supposed to carry out the hit on Manning to get patched, but could not follow through. 

Fawcett later told a former Mongrel Mob member that he stabbed Manning, and "that's all I did".

He also told a woman he had "done something bad" and could not sleep, Shamy said. 

Shamy said Manning's stab wounds were "an intentional, deliberate injury".

"This is not some young boy who was frightened, panicking, forced. This is a man who wants to get patched."

"You are not the main player, but you are part of the gang."

Being "made to do it" was not a defence to murder.

Shamy suggested Fawcett admitted his involvement because he wanted to talk about it.  

"It's something that has haunted him."

- The Press

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