A man charged with the 2008 murder of Christchurch prostitute Mellory Manning will stand trial 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.

Unemployed Fawcett's High Court trial will begin in Christchurch on May 20 and is expected to take 4-5 weeks.


Fawcett is remanded in custody at an unnamed prison outside Christchurch after being transferred away from the city's men's prison for what defence counsel Craig Ruane has described as "entirely legitimate reasons".