Murdered Backpacker Grace Millane Was Likely Strangled For Several Minutes, Expert Claims

An image taken from video shown to the jury of defendant being interviewed by a police officer at Auckland Central Police Station on 6 December

An image taken from video shown to the jury of defendant being interviewed by a police officer at Auckland Central Police Station on 6 December

Prosecutors have told Auckland High Court the 27-year-old defendant, who can not be named for legal reasons, strangled Ms Millane on 1 December 2018 after a Tinder date. He claims she consented to being choked and insists her death was an accident. It would take "quite a bit of effort" for enough pressure to be placed on her neck to cause the kind of bruising that she was left with and it would take four or five minutes for someone to die from those types of injuries, he said.

The date told the court that she went out of her way to avoid the suspect after being "uncomfortable" at the suspect talking about women being accidentally killed during sex, according to The Sun.

On Monday a witness alleged in court that the accused accused tried to suffocate her on a date in November, and last week DNA experts said blood found in the suspect's apartment, despite his attempts to clean up, was 500 million times more likely to have come from Ms Millane than anyone else.

Grace Millane was found dead in a forested area near Auckland a week after she disappeared in December a year ago.

He told police officers they could have the bag which was "still in my room" and had not been used.

Jurors were told the man had bought a second, identical suitcase found in the hotel.

Another woman who matched with the accused killer early in 2018 told the court that she didn't feel comfortable meeting him after he mentioned he enjoyed strangulation during sex, The Herald reported.

"He said "it's insane how guys can make one wrong move and go to jail for their rest of their lives", she told the court.

The 27-year-old-suspect, who has not been named because of a suppression order, is allegedly shown smuggling the body of the British backpacker out of the CityLife hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, hours after he "strangled her to death".

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey asked the woman how the accused's manner was during that conversation.

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The man said after engaging in consensual sex with Millane, he passed out in the shower and when he went back to bed he thought Millane had gone home because the lights were off and he could not see her.

At the end of the date, the pair got up to leave and the woman realised her auto was parked in the same direction as the accused's.

"From my point of view it is incredibly rare; I have never heard of another case ... in New Zealand", he said of Millane's condition.

"I said, "no, thank you, I wouldn't".

The jury will watch the rest of the video interview when the trial resumes on Wednesday morning.

The court heard that data from the man's phone showed he had used Google to browse websites for large duffel bags, suitcases and vehicle hire.

The accused then took items to a drycleaners and washed the rental vehicle before he was eventually questioned by police on December 6. They had met on the Tinder dating app and visited a number of bars in the city centre.

Ms Millane was last seen alive on CCTV on December 1, leaving the lift at the CityLife hotel at 9.41pm on December 1.

Settle suggests the accused is lying.

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