Millane trial: CCTV footage shows date with accused

Elias Hubbard
November 9, 2019

It was the university graduate's last contact with her family, who on Thursday watched CCTV material covering nearly her entire date with the murder suspect in New Zealand's largest city last December.

The defendant denies murder, claiming the death was accidental and that Ms Millane had asked him to hold her throat as a way to heighten sexual pleasure. He insisted he did not realise she had died and had a shower before going back to bed.

The Crown argues the accused not only murdered Ms Millane, he then "coldly and methodically" disposed of her body in a shallow grave and cleaned the scene - trying his best to "break any link" between himself and his victim.

It was the last time she was seen alive.

Millane's body was found a week later after her family was unable to reach her on her birthday and reported her missing, the newspaper reported.

The Crown says she was strangled to death some hours later in that room.

The father of British backpacker Grace Millane says his daughter was in "good spirits" and would message her family nearly every day as she travelled around the world on her gap year.

It was the first time the information regarding Grace's death has been disclosed publicly, with prosecutor Robin McCoubrey telling the Judge panel that the Grace had died from close-range force to her neck. The court also heard that his body also had bruises on his chest and upper arms.

The defendant is said to have told police: 'I woke up the next day and saw that she was lying on the floor.

The following day he hired a vehicle, bought a suitcase and cleaned the apartment, going as far as hiring a carpet cleaning machine from a nearby supermarket.

Footage showed the accused bought the suitcase and used a trolley to take it from his flat to a hire auto.

Ms Millane had been visiting New Zealand.

"Only two people know what happened in that room", prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said.

"It was an occurred during a perfectly ordinary casual sexual encounter between a young couple who met up on Tinder".

"They've done an act created to further enhance sexual pleasure but it went wrong".

The defendant's lawyer Ian Brookie this morning began cross-examining Detective Adam Bicknell about the volume of alcohol his client and Ms Millane had consumed. "She was in a foetal position, her head was facing down towards where the wheels were", Detective Lewis Sin said.

Grace died as a result, he said.

A statement from the young woman's father was the first piece of Crown evidence and was read by McCoubrey.

"She was staying in regular contact, virtually everyday, or every other day".

The trial before Justice Moore and a jury of seven women and five men is set down for four weeks.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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