Murder victim Mellory Manning's DNA was found on a knife
recovered just metres from where her body was dumped in a
Christchurch river, a court heard today.
The second week of the sex worker's murder trial is underway
in Christchurch with expert forensic evidence this morning.
Mongrel Mob gang prospect Mauha Huataki Fawcett, 26, denies
murder and is representing himself at the High Court with the
assistance of an amicus curiae.
He claims police pressured him into making false confessions
that he was present when Miss Manning, 27, was killed on or
about December 18, 2008 over an alleged debt.
The Crown says Fawcett - then aged 20 - either took part in
the killing, or was there as a party to her murder.
Miss Manning's partially naked body was discovered floating
in the Avon River the day after she was killed.
ESR forensic scientist Jayshree Patel told the jury of six
men and six women today that a knife found on the murky
riverbed had her DNA on it.
It was 110 times more likely to have come from her than
anyone else, Dr Patel said.
Other swabs taken from her body found DNA linked to two
different men - an unknown male, known as 'male b', and a
client she entertained on the night she died.
The trial, before Justice David Gendall, continues.
It will hear from more than 100 witnesses and is set down for
another five weeks.
In his first police interviews, Fawcett described how Miss
Manning was taken to the gang pad at Galbraith Avenue,
Avonside, where she was raped, bashed and stabbed.
Fawcett initially told police that Mongrel Mob gangsters
barked like dogs and gave Nazi salutes as they carried out
the fatal assault. She was then dumped in the river 200
Fawcett later backtracked from his earlier version of events,
saying he wasn't present during the attack.