Grace Millane killer jailed for 17 years for murder of Brit backpacker

The murderer of British backpacker Grace Millane has been jailed for 17 years in New Zealand.

She went on a date with a 28-year-old man on December 1, 2018 in Auckland, and was killed either that night or in the early hours of the next morning – the date of her 22nd birthday.

Her body was later found buried in a shallow grave in a forested area outside the city.

The killer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was today sentenced at Auckland High Court to a minimum of 17 years in jail.

Her mum Gillian told directly addressed him in court, saying: "I want you to know I do not think of you, because if I did, that means I care about you and I simply don't.

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"The tears I shed are never-ending at the thought of never having the chance to kiss my Grace goodbye."

She added: "Grace wasn't just my daughter. She was my friend. My very best friend.

"I am absolutely heartbroken that you have taken my daughter's future and robbed us of so many memories that we were going to create.

"The tears I shed are never-ending at the thought of never having the chance to kiss my Grace goodbye."

Grace met her killer on Tinder and they spent the evening drinking together.

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The pair returned to his room in the CityLife hotel in central Auckland where he strangled her.

He initially claimed Grace died accidentally during rough sex.

However, a jury of seven women and five men returned a unanimous verdict after just five hours’ deliberation at the court.

Prosecutors said he strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her.

Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey today said the killer "eroticised" the murder and took photos of her naked body.

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Grace was assumed missing and her dad David Millane flew to New Zealand as local authorities spent a week searching until her body was found by police.

The man was first interviewed by police because he left a comment on one of Miss Millane's Facebook photos.

He used his mobile phone to search for "flesh-eating birds" and asked: "are there vultures in New Zealand?".

He also went on Google to browse websites for large duffel bags, suitcases and car hire after Grace died.

The killer was found guilty of murder last year before today's sentencing.

  • Grace Millane

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