1 Jun 2011

Accused tells court another man killed Marice McGregor

9:42 pm on 1 June 2011

The man accused of murdering a Whanganui woman in April last year has named who he says is the real killer from the witness stand.

The body of Marice McGregor was found in a bush-filled gully 50km off State Highway 4 in May last year.

The 45-year-old was last seen alive collecting pine cones at Lismore Forest just north of Whanganui on 19 April 2010.

Dean Mulligan, 43, of Feilding, handed himself in to police on 25 May last year, but has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

At the Whanganui High Court on Wednesday, Mr Mulligan said he went to show Marice McGregor a remote ravine in which to grow cannabis, about 50km north of the city.

He said Ms McGregor went ahead, and when he caught up she was counting out money for a man he had never met.

Mr Mulligan said the man told her it was not enough money, then hit her three or four times in the head and she fell to the ground.

The accused says he thought Ms McGregor was dead but was too scared to tell police, as the man threatened to hurt him and his family.

He says another man that he knew was waiting on a side road near the gully and raped him.

Both men named by the accused have their names suppressed.