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Sarah Manning at the Coroner's Court.in 2013.

Sarah Manning at the Coroner’s Court.in 2013. Photo: Jacky Ghossein

Five months before her wealthy French boyfriend died of a suspected drug overdose in his habourside apartment, Sarah Manning was plying an undercover private detective with drugs, an inquest heard on Monday.

The private detective told the Coroner’s Court in Glebe he mysteriously passed out at Ms Manning’s house one day before waking to discover his cover was blown.

The detective said he remembered Ms Manning using a syringe to extract liquid from a bottle the same afternoon.

David Luc Monlun, 40, was a French-born businessman in a “highly volatile” and “highly sexual” on-off relationship with Ms Manning, the court heard previously.

Suspected overdose: David Luc Monlun.

Victim

Suspected overdose: David Luc Monlun. Photo: Facebook

Apartment CCTV footage showed the couple and another man handling the illegal drug GHB on May 29, 2011, the night before Mr Monlun was found dead about 7am.

The private detective, who cannot be named, told the court he was hired by an agency in December 2010 to “get as close to Ms Manning as possible”.

He was told to report back “anything of importance in regards to taking drugs and sex”.

Posing as a “sugar daddy” on an escort website, he met Ms Manning in a Darling Harbour pub before he was invited over to her house in early January, he told the court.

There he drank a couple of scotch whiskies and Cokes, refusing the drug ice that Ms Manning was smoking from a pipe, he told the court. But he started to feel “weak headed, dizzy, like I was going to vomit”.

He said he had seen Ms Manning at some point – he could not recall when – “withdraw liquid from a wine bottle with a little syringe”.

He said he woke on the loungeroom floor in a pool of sweat to find a “very big guy” in the room.

This man and Ms Manning now knew the private detective’s real name and where he lived. The private detective left the house, then returned to inquire about goods stolen from his car, including medications, identification cards and family videotapes belonging to a friend.

The man grabbed the private detective with one hand by the neck and lifted him off the ground. After being threatened, the private detective left.

Ms Manning was convicted for her role in a 2006 kidnapping of Mr Monlun, in which he was tied up, beaten up and forced to sign over ownership of a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Ms Manning failed to appear in court on Monday despite a subpoena compelling her to do so.

Deputy State Coroner Sharon Freund indicated she would issue an arrest warrant.

The inquest continues.

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Henry Sapiecha

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