10 Mar 2014

Jury retires for night in Manning case

10:10 pm on 10 March 2014

The jury considering the case against a man accused of murdering Christchurch woman Mellory Manning has retired for the night and will resume deliberations on Tuesday.

A former Mongrel Mob prospect, Mauha Fawcett, is accused of murdering sex worker Ms Manning in December 2008 as part of his gang initiation.

Mauha Fawcett on trial at the High Court in Christchurch.

Mauha Fawcett on trial at the High Court in Christchurch. Photo: FAIRFAX / Pool

Justice Gendall.

Justice Gendall. Photo: FAIRFAX / Pool

In summing up on Monday morning, Justice Gendall told the jury that a number of people attacked Ms Manning at a gang pad in Christchurch.

Justice Gendall told the jury that at the time the events took place the accused was a prospect for the gang, and that could make the jury think he is not a person of good character; but they should consider only the evidence before them.

"This is not a case about whether or whether not the defendant is a nice guy ... You must not decide he is guilty because you think he is the type of person who might commit these offences."

Justice Gendall said jurors can find Mr Fawcett guilty of murder even if they believe others were involved in the attack. He said the defendant could also be found guilty if he knew it was likely Ms Manning could have died when she was attacked.

The judge said it is the defence's case that the only reason Mr Fawcett is facing charges is because he told police foolish lies in a interview in which he admitted his involvement.

The jury retired to consider its verdict at midday on Monday and took a brief break just before 4pm for a walk before resuming deliberations for an hour.

The jury then told the court it would not reach a verdict on Monday and has been sent home for the evening.