Accused tailed woman in car
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