Grace Millane murder trial: Accused killer's searches detailed

Cheryl Sanders
November 9, 2019

With those words Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey began laying out the case against the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane.

The first testimony in the 5-week trial was given today in Auckland, New Zealand, where twenty-one-year-old Grace was murdered last December.

Those photographs taken in the early hours of December 2, 2018 showed intimate photos of a woman's body, the detective said, which the Crown has alleged were taken of Ms Millane after her death.

She said more alarm bells rang when she was told the pair were drinking heavily, but became more at ease when her friend told her the date was going "really good" and that the man planned to come to London.

McCoubrey said the Crown case was that Millane died in the defendant's apartment due to sustained neck pressure.

The court also heard from one of Grace's Lincoln University friends, Ameena Ashcroft, who she text while on the date to say she "just clicked" with her alleged killer.

He denies the charge and is on trial in the High Court in Auckland.

Only two people, however, were in a position to know exactly what happened inside the downtown apartment that night.

"One of them can not tell us and the other has not told the truth about what happened".

Later that day, he placed the body in a suitcase and drove it in a rented vehicle to the Waitakere Ranges where he buried it, according to the jury.

Mr McCoubrey told the court that the accused initially told the police he had met Ms Millane for a drink before parting ways with her, but then changed his story, saying he and Ms Millane went back to his apartment where they engaged in "rough sex".

"These actions were part of sexual activities that they were doing together and they were in no way meant to cause any harm to her", his lawyer Ian Brookie said, the New Zealand Herald reported.

His defence lawyers argue she died during consensual rough sex.

Half an hour later, Ms Millane, in a black dress, was seen leaving the Base backpackers' hostel where she was staying and then walking through rain-soaked streets towards Sky City. "It occurred during a perfectly ordinary casual sexual encounter between a young couple who met up on Tinder", Brookie told the court.

"The defence is not doing this in any way to suggest that Ms Millane is to blame, she is not to blame", the defence lawyer said.

The body was found curled in a suitcase in a forested area.

Grace died as a result, he said.

Millane's parents, David and Gillian, were also seated at the back of the courtroom yesterday with a clear view of the accused.

In it, David Millane said his daughter was in contact at least once a day during her travels but that contact ceased on December 1.

The trial is expected to take up to five weeks.

Other reports by iNewsToday