Rapid guilty verdict in Marong murder trial

A jury took less than an hour to reject Sainey Marong’s defence of self-diagnosed insanity, and convicted him of the murder of a Christchurch sex worker.

Supporters of the victim, Renee Larissa Duckmanton, burst into cheers and sobs as the jury foreman delivered the verdict.

Justice Cameron Mander said: “There needs to be silence in court as there has been throughout.”

Miss Duckmanton was 22 years old when she disappeared while working on Manchester Street on May 14, 2016. Her burnt body was found the next evening at the scene of a scrubfire near Rakaia.

Marong, a 33-year-old butcher from Ilam, denied the murder charge saying in his evidence that he had health problems and was “definitely insane” at the time.

His self-diagnosis was not supported by the medical professionals.

Justice Cameron Mander summed up for the jury from 9am today on the ninth day of the trial in the High Court at Christchurch.

The jury went out to consider its verdict before 11am, and indicated less than an hour later that it had reached its verdict.

Justice Mander convicted Marong and remanded him in custody for sentencing on April 20.

The judge thanked the jury members for their service and thanked the lawyers involved.

As the jury left the court room, family members called out their thanks. “Renee thanks you, too,” called one of them.

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