The Mongrel Mob prospect accused of murdering
Christchurch woman Ngatai 'Mellory' Manning has been found
guilty by a jury at the High Court in Christchurch.
Mauha Huataki Fawcett, known within gang circles as 'Muck
Dog', denied murdering Miss Manning, 27, on December 18,
But the Crown said the 26-year-old either took part in her
brutal slaying at a gang pad that night or was party to it.
A jury of six men and six women took just under six hours
over two days to return its unanimous verdict at the High
Court in Christchurch today.
There were gasps of "yes" from a full public gallery as the
jury's verdict was announced.
Justice David Gendall thanked the jury for their work.
Fawcett will be sentenced on May 1.
The prostitute was picked up by gangsters at her usual spot
at Christchurch's red light district in what the Crown
alleged had been a pre-planned and well-organised hit by the
Aotearoa chapter of the Mongrel Mob where Fawcett would earn
his gang patch.
She was driven the short distance to the Mob's pad at
They took her inside a shed, turned up loud music, before
raping her and beating and stabbing her with various weapons.
Once she was dead, they stood around her mutilated body and
shouted 'Sieg heil' and barked like dogs, the four-week trial
heard. The Crown contended that mobsters, including Fawcett,
dumped her naked body in the Avon River just a few hundred
Miss Manning's partially naked body was discovered floating
in the Avon River by a kayaker the day after she was killed.
It was the third prostitute murder in the city in as many
years, but its brutality shocked senior, experienced
Fearing the gang would dob him in to police or else take him
out over fears he would talk to police, Fawcett fled the
Over a series of police interviews, he incriminated himself
in the killing, but later back-tracked. The Crown alleged he
also made a confession to a former Mongrel Mob member, saying
he had stabbed Miss Manning once.
During the trial he conducted his own defence, with
assistance by an amicus curiae, and said he had lied
throughout the interviews. He also claimed police had
pressured and "coached" him into making false confessions.
Fawcett, who has a British bulldog tattooed on his face, said
he hadn't been at the gang pad that night and denied having
anything to do with her murder but the jury today rejected
his version of events.