Villain or victim?

By Kate Wilson

WANTED man John Manning broke his silence yesterday in a desperate attempt to tell his side of the story.

Manning has been on the run from police since Thursday night after he allegedly rammed his furniture truck into a car while the driver was still inside before damaging another vehicle and heading through the front windows of a Barolin Street juice bar.

Manning refused to comment directly about the crazed attack, but said he was the one who had been violated in the lead up to the night's events.

Lashing out at the police and those who were part of the trail of destruction - Manning said he was a victim as well.

Manning's justification followed the horrific story of those involved in the attack, the couple still scared by the events and fearing the man would be back on his mission for revenge.

He may be on the run from the police, but John Manning was so desperate to tell his side of the story that he contacted the NewsMail yesterday while in hiding.

Although hesitant to discuss why he ran into a juice bar in his removal truck for "legal reasons", Mr Manning wanted to make sure the public knew his story, before he handed himself into police.

A fall-out with his ex-partner started the saga - but Mr Manning said it was compounded when she took out a domestic violence order against him.

"She took out a protection order against me. Because of the order I couldn't even talk to her," Mr Manning said.

After some time she removed the order and the couple got back together.

Mr Manning said, not long after that, his partner left him.

He also claimed he had been the victim of stalking and a violent beating because of the relationship break-up. "This other guy has been staking my car out," he said.

"A friend was driving my car and she saw him following her."

Mr Manning would not say if this sparked his bizarre truck rampage, but he said the police had not helped him. "The police wouldn't do anything about it," Mr Manning said.

Despite staying on the run for a week, Mr Manning said he was looking to turn himself in - but not just yet.

"I'm looking to hand myself in - I'm on my own out here," he said.

"But if they get me and lock me up, I won't get to tell my side of the story, they'll keep me quiet.

"I've been made out to be this big criminal.

"I'm just hoping I can hand myself in before they catch up with me."

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