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The High Court at Christchurch was told that Mauha Huataki Fawcett's part in Miss Fawcett's "barbaric and senseless" murder was so exceptional and rare that it justified a minimum non-parole period of at least 23 years.
Justice David Gendall agreed that the attack by Fawcett, and several mobsters armed with weapons, against a defenceless and slightly built 45kg woman displayed "a high level of brutality, depravity and callousness".
"You have shown no remorse at all Mr Fawcett."
Fawcett, known within gang circles as 'Muck Dog', denied murdering Miss Manning, 27, on December 18, 2008.
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.
In March, a jury of six men and six women took just under six hours to unanimously find Fawcett guilty of murder.
This morning, he was sentenced at the High Court in Christchurch in front of a packed public gallery.
"It is hard to understand any reason that would justify such a brutal homicide," Crown prosecutor Phil Shamy said.
Fawcett had refused to engage with the writing of a pre-sentence report, which Mr Shamy said was "quite remarkable"given what he was involved in.
With the bulldog tattoo on his face, and through his actions, Fawcett was proud to be part of Mongrel Mob, the Crown said.
"There is little Mr Fawcett has done to endear himself to this court."
Miss Manning, a sex worker, was working on the night of December 18, 2008, when she was picked up 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 Galbraith Ave where she was raped then beaten and stabbed.
The Crown contended that mobsters, including Fawcett, dumped her naked body in the Avon River.
During his trial, Fawcett, who has a British bulldog tattooed on his face, conducted his own defence, with assistance by an amicus curiae.
He claimed police had "coached" him into making false confessions.
Today, Fawcett's amicus curiae, lawyer Craig Ruane, said the convicted killer took a "relatively minor role in something that grew beyond his control".
Senior patched members would have been responsible for organised the hit, while prospects like Fawcett, just "do what they are told".
Miss Manning's long-time boyfriend and minder, Kent Gorrie read a victim impact statement to the court.
He paid tribute to a "talented, gifted, bundle of joy"whose love was so treasured.
"You took that from us for that pathetic role you wanted to play," he told Fawcett.
It was a "weak and shameful attack", Mr Gorrie said.
The couple had gone from spending thousands every week on drugs, to saving for Christmas, and starting a new future together.
After Miss Manning lost her sister Jasmine a few months beforehand to suicide, she started having "wonderful goals".
"We had plans to start our own family," Mr Gorrie said.
"You and your co-offenders took that from us - and for what? The promise of a patch."
Mr Gorrie's mother, Frances, put it to Fawcett in the dock, that if he thought taking part in such a brutal killing, would make him a man, then he had a lot to learn.
"If you believe barking around a girl's beaten body and shouting Nazi slogans is manly, you are sadly mistaken," she said.
"Our European and Maori Battalion soldiers who fought against that very cause would be disgusted and ashamed of you."
If Fawcett had "any guilt or feelings of horror"at what he had done, then maybe there was hope for him in the future, said Mrs Gorrie.
"It's never too late to change."
The police investigation into Miss Manning's death remains open.
"It's very clear in evidence of this trial that there were other people involved in this murder and we certainly intend to bring those people to justice," investigation head Detective Inspector Greg Williams said after Fawcett was found guilty.
- By Kurt Bayer of APNZ