Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an APNZ reporter based in Christchurch.

Accused: 'I've got nothing to gain from the Mongrel Mob'

Mellory Manning. Photo / Supplied
Mellory Manning. Photo / Supplied

Murder accused Mauha Fawcett, who is conducting his own trial, has elected not to take the stand.

After almost three-and-a-half weeks, and more than 100 witnesses, the Crown today concluded its evidence in the Mellory Manning murder trial in the High Court at Christchurch.

Fawcett, 26, this afternoon told Justice David Gendall that he will not be taking the stand and will not be calling any witnesses for his defence case.

The jury has been sent home for the day, to return at 10am tomorrow morning when the Crown will begin its closing address, followed by defence.

After the judge sums up, the jury will begin its deliberations, probably some time on Thursday.

Earlier this morning, Fawcett said if he knew who killed Christchurch sex worker Miss Manning he would've given them up to police.

"My life is on the line here... I've got nothing to gain from the Mongrel Mob," Fawcett said on day 17 of his murder trial.

Fawcett, known within gang circles as 'Muck Dog', denies murder.

He is representing himself in court with assistance by an amicus curiae.

Fawcett claims police pressured and "coached" 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 21 - either took part in the killing, or was there as a party to her brutal murder.

Her partially naked body was discovered floating in the Avon River the day after she was killed.

Today, a former Mongrel Mob member was recalled to court to be cross-examined by Fawcett himself.

The witness, who has name suppression, had earlier said Fawcett had told him he'd been at the Galbraith Ave gang-pad when she was killed and that he had stabbed her once.

Fawcett denied making a confession to murder.

The witness again said that he had, and claimed that Fawcett had even showed him court paperwork which backed up his story.

"You also told me ... your life was on the line with the Mongrel Mob," the witness said.

"You were fearing for your own life, what they would do to you. What did I tell you back then? Give them up."

Fawcett replied: "If I knew who it was, I would've put them up there all right. I've got nothing to gain from the Mongrel Mob."

Fawcett told Justice Gendall that he was not happy with how his amicus curiae, lawyer Craig Ruane, cross-examined the witness last time, and that's why he wanted the witness recalled.

"My life is on the line and in this witness' hands and he's coming in and accusing me of this. I did not say that to this witness."

The witness stuck by his claims.

He went on to tell the court that the day Miss Manning's body was found, there was a meeting called at the mob house.

Afterwards, Fawcett "freaked out", stole one of the gangster's cars, and disappeared, he claimed.

"You know, he couldn't handle the pressure."

The trial continues tomorrow.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 24 Jul 2014 21:51:44 Processing Time: 280ms