The murder Trial has begun in the case of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane. The man accused of her murder cannot be named for legal reasons. The Trial is taking place in Auckland in New Zealand.
This murder Trial involves the case of Grace Millane. Grace was a British backpacker who went missing in Auckland in New Zealand while travelling. Her body was found a week later in a suitcase in a densely wooded and remote area 15 cm deep in the ground.
Grace was the youngest of three children and was from Pickford in Essex. Grace had just finished University and wanted to spend a year travelling. She arrived in New Zealand after a stay in Peru.
Grace's Parents , David and Jillian
A 27 year old man was charged with the murder of Grace Millane. He denies the charge of murder.
After all the evidence is heard , the Jury will have to decide if Grace was murdered or if she died as a result of an accident during consensual sex. There is no dispute that Grace died in the apartment at the CityLife Hotel in Aukland. The dispute is in relation as to what happened in the room that night.
The Prosecution's case is that Grace and the accused met on Tinder and went to a few different bars on the 1st of December 2018. They then went back to the CityLife Hotel in Auckland. At that time, the accused lived there.
There is some CCTV Footage from the night which shows Grace and the accused together. They appear happy together and are seen kissing on some footage.
It is the Prosecution's case that when they were at the hotel, Grace was "choked to death during sex with the accused." It is their case that Grace died from pressure to her neck and that she was strangled until she bled through her nose. There was a bruise on the left side of her neck.
Furthermore, the Prosecution, during the course of the Trial, will outline how the accused searched online for places to hide the body. One such place was Waitakere Ranges. This is the same wooded area where Grace's body was subsequently found. It is also the Prosecution's case that the accused searched for pornographic sites and took intimate pictures of Grace's body.
Part of the Prosecution's evidence will be that the accused hired a car and bought cleaning products to clean the carpet in his room.
They will show that the accused arranged to meet a second woman via Tinder while Grace was dead in his room. He met that woman and told her "he may have known who had been jailed for manslaughter after a woman died during rough sex that had "all gone wrong". The Prosecution believe he was testing the version of events.
It is the Defence's case that Grace was strangled while she and the accused had sex but it is their case that the strangulation was "consensual" and was to "enhance her sexual pleasure."In order to show this, they intend to divulge details of the accused's past relationships and Grace's past relationships to the Court.
The accused initially told police that he left Grace after the date. He later said that they engaged in rough sexual intercourse and this involved biting and hitting.
The trial continues.