eA month after the death of a British backpacker in New Zealand, a court has convicted a man of murder. The jury in Auckland concluded on Friday that the 27-year-old New Zealander intentionally killed 21-year-old Briton Grace Millane in December 2018. The accused himself had stated during the trial that she had accidentally strangled the young woman during sex.
Millane disappeared in Auckland the night before her 22nd birthday. She had arrived in New Zealand only a few days earlier – the young woman wanted to travel around the world for a year after she graduated. Her body was found after a week in a suburb of Auckland.
The 27-year-old defendant pleaded not guilty in the process. Although he acknowledged that the young Briton had died in his apartment. His attorneys, however, stated that Millane had asked the man to choke her in amicable sex. After her death, the New Zealander panicked and disposed of her body.
The prosecution dismissed this presentation as a “lying labyrinth”. According to Millane's death, the defendant took pictures of her body, watched porn, and arranged the next Tinder date.
Millane's parents cried when the verdict was read. He would not make the pain of the family more bearable, Millane's father David said. The punishment is to be announced in February. The New Zealander faces at least ten years imprisonment, but the judge can also impose a life sentence.
The death of the young backpacker had severely shaken New Zealand, which is actually considered a safe travel destination. There were vigils throughout the country for Millane and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern apologized to the family.