Ac­cused tailed woman in car

Nelson Mail - - NEWS - SAMSHERWOOD

A woman says she was fol­lowed by Sainey Marong about a month be­fore he al­legedly killed a Christchurch sex worker.

Marong, 33, is on trial at the High Court in Christchurch, ac­cused of mur­der­ing Re­nee Duck­man­ton on May 14, 2016.

The 22-year-old’s half-naked and badly burnt body was found at a scrub fire on the side of a road near Rakaia about 7.30pm the next day.

A woman, whose name and oc­cu­pa­tion is sup­pressed, told the court from be­hind a screen on Thurs­day that she was fol­lowed by some­one in a sil­ver Audi af­ter she fin­ished work about 10.30pm on April 4, 2016.

She could see through her rear view mir­ror that the driver kept turn­ing their lights on and off. The driver would also pull over briefly be­fore pulling out again.

‘‘I thought it was re­ally odd some­one turn­ing their lights on and off that time of night.’’

She ini­tially as­sumed it was a drunk-driver but then re­alised the car was ‘‘de­lib­er­ately fol­low­ing me’’.

She called *555 as she trav­elled west on Moor­house Ave and was put through to po­lice, who told her to keep driv­ing un­til they could catch up to her.

The car was still be­hind her as she con­tin­ued west on Blen­heim Rd and into Hornby, and she be­came ‘‘very ner­vous’’.

She then turned into a petrol sta­tion in Hornby and did a U-turn near the food court. The sil­ver car was only away’’.

Po­lice caught up with her be­tween five and 10 min­utes later and pulled over the Audi, find­ing Marong at the wheel.

Con­sta­ble Zeb Har­land told the court he as­sumed the driver was drunk. Marong handed over his driver li­cence and did a road­side breath test. There was no al­co­hol in his sys­tem.

Har­land said he told Marong po­lice had re­ceived a driv­ing com­plaint.

Marong al­legedly told Har­land he was ‘‘sim­ply go­ing for a drive af­ter work to wind down’’.

‘‘He en­joyed driv­ing around the city at this time of night, he said he might have been driv­ing a lit­tle slow but didn’t think it was much un­der the speed limit.’’

Marong claimed his lights were flash­ing ‘‘due to some sort of fault’’ and he de­nied fol­low­ing an­other car, say­ing he had been driv­ing around aim­lessly, Har­land said.

The con­sta­ble gave Marong a ver­bal warn­ing for his driv­ing.

The Crown said in its open­ing state­ment on Mon­day that there was ‘‘over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence’’ against Marong, in­clud­ing his DNA on a lighter and a beanie left at the scene.

In the weeks lead­ing up to the killing, the 33-year-old Googled what kid­nap­pers used to make peo­ple un­con­scious. He also made mul­ti­ple searches about necrophilia and re­searched New Zealand sup­pli­ers of the chem­i­cal chlo­ro­form.

Marong’s de­fence cited ‘‘men­tal im­bal­ance’’ in their brief open­ing on Mon­day. ‘‘a cou­ple of me­tres

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