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Manning murder-accused moved from Chch prison

Published: 11:52AM Monday April 30, 2012 Source: Fairfax

An unemployed 24-year-old charged with the murder of Christchurch woman Mallory Manning has been transferred to another prison away from the city.

The name of the prison was not mentioned when Mauha Fawcett's case was called before Christchurch District Court Judge Jane Farish without the murder-accused's presence today.

Fawcett, who was arrested in Auckland a month ago, is charged with kidnapping and murdering Manning on the night of December 18, 2008. Her badly-beaten body was found in the Avon River next day.

Defence counsel Craig Ruane said Fawcett had been transferred to a prison outside Christchurch "for entirely legitimate reasons".

But he said: "I simply can't get an answer from the Ministry of Justice about the means by which I can see him and take instructions."

He asked for a further remand to June 8 for Fawcett so that he could get instructions and consider what documents were relevant for the disclosure of the Crown case.

A post-committal date of June 1 has been set for the case, which would normally announce a date for a pre-trial conference in the High Court, but Ruane said police had indicated they would seek an extension of that date.

He would not oppose the extension, he said.

Farish granted the remand with Fawcett remaining in custody without plea.