Published: 7:57PM Wednesday June 08, 2011 Source: ONE News
Dean Richard Mulligan - Source: ONE News
Marice McGregor - Source: NZ Police
Dean Mulligan has been found guilty of murdering Wanganui woman Marice McGregor at the High Court in Wanganui.
It follows a bizarre three-week trial in which it was revealed Mulligan admitted the murder, then recanted.
McGregor's body was found in a ravine off a remote part of State Highway four in April last year.
Mulligan, a former computer technician, bashed McGregor to death with an iron bar near a river in the Parapara Ranges on April 19, 2010.
The two met on an internet dating site and during their relationship, McGregor gave Mulligan tens of thousands of dollars.
The Crown said Mulligan killed McGregor when she threatened to tell his wife about the affair.
After four and a half hours deliberation the jury unanimously found Mulligan guilty of the Wanganui beneficiary's murder.
A stony-faced Mulligan gave no reaction as the verdict was read.
Mulligan maintained throughout the trial it was another man who killed McGregor, and that the same man threatened him into confessing.
The Crown said in summing up today Mulligan changed his story five times and "has taken us all to be gullible fools."
Prosecutor Lance Rowe said Mulligan was a "deliberate and inconsistent liar" and that he killed McGregor in a researched and premeditated attack.
Defence Lawyer Stephen Ross said in his closing address that
because Mulligan only has one leg, hitting her in the head three
times with such force
would have been physically beyond him.
Ross admitted Mulligan's story that a third party killed her is unbelievable at first glance.
But he said McGregor's lifestyle as a serial online dater was also unbelievable, but turned out to be true.
He told the jury: "You don't have to believe Dean Mulligan - there just has to be reasonable doubt.
"Mulligan's story is so unbelievable, but it's so believable it might be true."
Mulligan has been remanded in custody until sentencing on July 1.
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