Sex worker's murder trial nears end

JOELLE DALLY
Last updated 11:44 10/03/2014
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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A verdict could be reached as early as today in the High Court murder trial of a Mongrel Mob prospect accused of killing Christchurch sex worker Mellory Manning.

The presiding judge, Justice David Gendall has been summing up this morning before the jury will retire to consider its verdict.

Mauha Huatahi Fawcett, 26, denies murdering Manning, 27, on or about December 18, 2008.

The Crown says the Mongrel Mob prospect was either a party or principal offender in her planned killing, carried out by a group at the former Mongrel Mob pad in Galbraith Ave, Avonside.

The Crown case hinges on admissions Fawcett made to police and later to a former Mongrel Mob member about his and patched mobsters' involvement in her killing.

He told police he hit Manning with a pole-type weapon during the fatal assault. He told the former mobster he stabbed her.

Fawcett, who is representing himself, says his admissions to police were lies. He also denies telling the former mobster he stabbed her.

Closing addresses by the Crown, Fawcett and his assisting counsel, barrister Craig Ruane, were heard on Thursday. The trial did not sit on Friday.

The Crown called more than 100 witnesses during the nearly four-week trial.

Crown prosecutor Philip Shamy said in his closing address that others could face charges for the killing after Fawcett was dealt with on this charge, and potentially became a Crown witness.

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- The Press

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