Sex worker tells of hearing about Mob ‘tax’

A woman who worked as a prostitute in Manchester Street said she had heard of the Mongrel Mob “taxing” the sex workers although they had never taken money off her.

The former prostitute said she took up sex work through friends who were doing it. “We used to sit and get drunk and work at the same time,” she said.

She did not have a “minder” but stayed with her friends when she worked, she told the eighth day of Fawcett’s trial in the High Court at Christchurch where the 26-year-old denies the murder of 27-year-old sex worker Mellory Manning.

She said she was “probably drunk” when she met Fawcett, who was a Mongel Mob prospect, and another man who was a patched member of the gang.

The two were together a lot, cruising around in a little two-door car.

She said she was aware of the Mongrel Mob taxing sex workers but they had never taken money off her. “Everyone knew the Mongrel Mob used to take money off the working girls,” she said.

She told the trial that she did not know Mellory Manning and could not recall the night of December 18, 2008, when the Crown alleges Miss Manning was taken from Manchester Street, strangled, stabbed, and beaten to death at a gang property in Avonside and dumped in the Avon River.

She only saw Fawcett once after that when he stopped the car over the road on Manchester Street, and came over to ask briefly if she was all right. He asked if the police had talked to her, then got in the car to drive off, and she never saw him again.

The trial is before Justice David Gendall and a jury.

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