Kurt Bayer is a Herald reporter based in Christchurch

Trial for Manning murder likely to start next year

Mellory Manning's body was found in the Avon River in 2008. Photo / Supplied
Mellory Manning's body was found in the Avon River in 2008. Photo / Supplied

The trial of a man charged with the 2008 murder of Christchurch prostitute Mellory Manning is likely to start next year.

Mauha Huataki Fawcett, 24, has been charged with the kidnapping and murder of Miss Manning on December 18, 2008.

Her badly beaten body was found in the Avon River the next day, and the brutality of her death shocked police investigating the case.

At a pre-trial callover at the High Court at Christchurch today a new date of October 15 was granted by Justice Christian Whata for pre-trial arguments to take place.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane said no trial has yet been fixed, but said it was unlikely to happen this year.

- APNZ

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