Victim's body 'holes and blood'

04:50, Feb 24 2014
Mauha Huatahi Fawcett
ACCUSED: Mauha Huatahi Fawcett appears in the Christchurch High Court. He denies murdering Ngatai 'Mellory' Manning.
Mauha Huatahi Fawcett
DEFENDING HIMSELF: Mauha Huatahi Fawcett, 26, conducts his own defence in the Christchurch High Court.
Justice Gendall
IN SESSION: The murder trial of Mauha Huatahi Fawcett will be presided over by Justice Gendall.
Craig Ruane and Mauha Huatahi Fawcett
AMICUS CURIAE: Mahua Huatahi Fawcett at the start of his trial for murdering Mellory Manning, with his assisting counsel Craig Ruane, right.

Murder-accused Mauha Huatahi Fawcett told police a gang member had wanted Manning "hit" because she owed money.

In a four-hour interview with police, the 26-year-old Mongrel Mob prospect said the hit was done by the time he got to the gang pad.

Fawcett denies murdering the 27-year-old sex worker, who the Crown says was taken to a Mongrel Mob gang pad in Avonside where she was beaten, strangled, and stabbed over money she owed, either for drugs or for a Mob "tax" on sex workers.

Ngatai "Mellory" Manning.
Ngatai "Mellory" Manning.

In the recorded interview, played to the Christchurch High Court murder trial today, Fawcett said a woman told him a couple of days later that she had stabbed Manning and kept going until she stopped screaming.

Other weapons used in the attack had been a "pole-hook" and a metal bar.

Fawcett said his role had been to help clean up.


He had seen Manning's body lying on the ground.

He described her injuries as "holes and blood" and she had a smashed-in face.

She was lying on a tarpaulin when he saw her, not moving. Her body was then wrapped up and put in the back of a car.

He was told to be a diversion in another vehicle in case the police approached while the body was being dumped.

If necessary he was to ram the police vehicle.

Afterwards, he smoked some P "to try to forget everything".

He said he was telling a different story in this interview - he had earlier described seeing a "bloodbath" - because he had earlier lied about seeing the attack as he thought he would be safer from the Mob in jail.


Fawcett told police he felt "haunted" after the death of sex worker Mellory Manning.

In the four-hour interview with police, he told interviewing officer, Detective Inspector Tom Fitzgerald, "my fear is bigger than my pain."

Detective Inspector Fitzgerald said: "We also have to deal with the haunting for the rest of your life too."

Fawcett replies: "I know the haunting, Tom. I feel it every day. I try to hide it away but it gets worser and worser every time I think about it."

The officer said: "I can see it in your eyes."

Fawcett replied: "One day I am going to have to come back to Christchurch. That's what scares me the most."

The officer told Fawcett to "get rid of the burden, mate".

The trial before Justice David Gendall and a jury, now in its 11th day, was told Fawcett had first been treated as a source by the police but was then been interviewed as a suspect.

When he was interviewed by Detective Inspector Fitzgerald, he denied that he had hit Manning or that he had picked her up from Manchester St.

The officer said: "You told us you were there but you didn't hit her."

"The Mob can kill me anytime," Fawcett replied.

He said he had earlier spoken to Manning's "boyfriend or husband" about money that was owed for working on the street.

He told him: "We run the street and people are paying us money, homage."

Later that night, another gang member told him to stay on Manchester St to watch the girls and see who was getting all the jobs, otherwise they would sell drugs to them and try to get them in debt.

The gang member told him: "We are unstoppable, untouchable, and this is our town."

The gang member walked up the street and stopped at a "Red Cross van" - probably a Salvation Army caravan - and got them soup, donuts, sandwiches, and pies.

Fawcett said: "I used to feel guilty [because] they were were there for the homeless. [The gang member] said if they look at you just punch them in the face."

The trial is continuing.

The Press