Brit backpacker Grace Millane died ‘accidentally during rough sex session’ her Tinder date claims at NZ murder trial

BRIT backpacker Grace Millane was killed during rough sex while on a Tinder date, a court heard.

Her alleged killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Grace asked him to choke her and she died accidentally.

Grace Milane died the day before her 22nd birthday in New Zealand last December
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Grace’s parents David and Gillian Millane arrive with Detective Inspector Scott Beard at the Auckland High Court as the trial gets underway
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But the prosecution argued it was murder, saying it was obvious from the 27-year-old defendant’s actions after her death that there was no accident.

Grace, 22, was last seen alive the day before her birthday in December 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand.

Grace’s parents David and Gillian, of Wickford, Essex, watched as prosecutor Robin McCoubrey told the court she had been  strangled until she bled through her nose.

He said her alleged killer, 27, then spent an hour researching how to dispose of a body, watched hardcore porn on his phone and took a series of intimate snaps.

The next day, he bought a suitcase in which he would later stuff her body and bury it in remote woodland.

He hired a car and bought cleaning equipment to “calmly, coldly and methodically” remove traces of Grace’s blood from his carpet, said Mr McCoubrey.

At the same time, the jury heard, he arranged another Tinder date with another woman who he met the same day Grace lay dead on his floor.

Ian Brookie, defending, today told the jury that although he did not blame Grace for her own death, it was an accident, not murder, “when an act designed to enhance their sexual pleasure went wrong and she died as a result”.

“What’s important here is that they were both keen to give it a go and they did,” said Mr Brookie.

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However Mr McCoubrey told the court Grace’s death was no accident, and said it was obvious from the 27-year-old defendant’s actions after her death.

CCTV captured footage of Grace on the night she disappeared in Auckland
New Zealand police investigate at the location where Grace’s body was found
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Grace’s body was found buried in dense woodland west of the city a week after she and the man were captured on CCTV entering the CityLife hotel

Her father David Millane has flown to Auckland for the trial
AP:Associated Press
His wife Gillian, pictured here with Grace, has also flown out to watch the accused stand trial

Grace met the suspect for the first time at a bar in Auckland on December 1 last year, the eve of her 22nd birthday, the court heard.

She had texted a friend in Britain to say the date with the man was going well.

“Grace was clearly enjoying the date at that stage,” said Mr McCoubrey. “There’s clear evidence that both parties anticipated sexual activity.”

Mr McCoubrey said only two people knew what had happened in the room and one of them was dead.

But he told the jury the defendant had told a string of lies to police when he was confronted, at first claiming the couple had parted without reaching his apartment.

He changed his story when confronted by CCTV images of the pair of them entering the CityLife hotel where he was living.

But in a recorded interview, he gave a detailed account claiming Grace had taken charge as they had sex.

Her brother, Declan, posted a heartfelt tribute to his sister online

“She jumped on top and started showing me what she wanted to do,” the suspect said. “She held me around my neck and pushed down.”

“We started having I guess more violent sex. We ended up on the floor and we kept going on the floor,” according to a statement read to the jury by Mr McCoubrey.

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“She told me to hold her arms tighter, and then she told me to hold her throat and um, go harder.”

“Then at that point we’d finished, so I went into the shower.”

The defendant, said Mr McCoubrey, had given no explanation for how Grace died.

He then claimed to have fallen asleep in the shower before climbing into bed some time later, unaware that Grace was dead on the bedroom floor.

The defendant denies murder and the trial continues.


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