'I'm sorry': Moment murder accused admitted Grace was dead

The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.
The accused in his second interview with police on December 7.
Warning: this story contains graphic content 

The man accused of murdering Grace Millane broke down during a second interview with police and admitted his Tinder date was dead and he had disposed of her body.

The jury in the High Court at Auckland watched the videotaped interview on Thursday.

Crown prosecutors allege that on the night of December 1 last year - the eve of the British backpacker's  22nd birthday - the accused strangled her to death in his CityLife hotel apartment.

After breaking down in tears and taking a break, the accused then described what he did after realising Millane was dead.

"I was in shock, I didn't know what to do,"  he told Detective Ewen Settle.

"I took a whole heap of tablets that I had. I realised she wasn't alive and I just wanted to end it all."

The accused said he was "all over the place".

"I didn't believe what had happened," he said. "I was just terrified and scared."

The accused then confessed he went to The Warehouse on Elliot St in central Auckland and bought a suitcase - something he had previously denied.

"I went back and at first I didn't know what to do," he said, talking about returning to his apartment. 

"I just put the suitcase on the bed. And I think I left again."

Grace Millane was murdered on the weekend of her 22nd birthday.
Grace Millane had been on a backpacking holiday to New Zealand. Photo: Supplied via NZ Herald
The accused then said he tried to overdose on medication.

"I just was thinking that me and Grace had such a great night, we were talking about catching up in London.

"I was at the point where I just wanted to end my own life - I'd had enough I was finished."

The accused then recalled putting Millane's body in the suitcase. I was just in shock the whole time I couldn't put her in it because it just didn't seem right. It just didn't seem right.

"So I left and Grace was half in half out of the suitcase at that stage. I couldn't do it."

The accused said he then left to buy cleaning products - which was captured on CCTV.

"Then I remember coming back and I messaged a friend to catch up because I didn't think it was real," he said.

The "friend" was another Tinder date he went on in Ponsonby on December 2.

"I couldn't get through the beer I was drinking," he said.

"I got back to CityLife and ... I spewed up a few times because I couldn't put Grace in the bag. All I could think about was what we shared the night before.

"And then I put her in the bag. And the whole time I just kept saying I'm sorry," he said crying.

The accused then moved the body on a luggage trolley from the hotel and into a rental car.

"I sat there for a little while, praying," he said, after parking the car in a nearby parking building.

The next morning he drove to a hardware store in West Auckland and bought a shovel before continuing to the Waitakere Ranges.

"I went into the bush ... And I start digging."

The accused said he again took "20 maybe 30 paracetamol tablets".

"Because I didn't want to be around if Grace wasn't there and didn't think I deserved to be around because of what happened.

"I went and got the suitcase and put it in the hole, and covered the hole and then I drove 10-20 metres to the reservoir and sat there. I sat there just wanting the paracetamol to kick in, it didn't, so I drove back to the city," he said.

Accused describes night with Millane 

During the second interview with police, the accused talked about having sex with Grace Millane.

"Tell me what happened last Saturday,"  Detective Ewan Settle said.

"From the beginning?" the accused asked.

The man then went through the events of December 1 - as have been captured and match the events on CCTV. These included them meeting at SkyCity and visiting three bars to drink together.

After drinking at the Bluestone Room, the accused says the pair returned to his room at the CityLife hotel in central Auckland.

"We were kissing, we were talking," he said. "She asked me to turn the TV off. I had the TV on the music channel."

Then, the accused claims, Millane began talking about Fifty Shades of Grey.

"She told me that there's a few thing she likes doing and that she'd done with her ex-partner.

"We started having sex, at first it was just normal. It was very placid."

Then, the accused said, Millane brought up the topic of bondage.

"And she started biting and she asked me to bite her so I did," he said.

"I stopped at first and said 'Is this something you really want to do?'"

The accused claimed Millane said: "We're in the moment, let's just go with it."

The alleged killer said the pair talked for a while before having sex again.

"Holding my arms above my head and just biting and then she hit my butt ... and then she held me around my neck and pushed down.

"She indicated that it made me harder ... And so we swapped over, I got on top.

"We started having more, I guess, violent sex."

The accused said the pair "ended up on the floor" before Millane took nude photos of him and he did the same.

"And then we kept going she told me to hold her arms tighter," he said. "And then she told me to hold her throat and go harder."

The accused said he then went to the bathroom - but fell asleep in the shower.

He remembered waking up when it was still dark and crawled back into the bed.

"I thought Grace had left," he said.

"I woke up the next day and saw that she was lying on the floor, I saw that she had blood coming from her nose.

"I screamed, I yelled out at her I tried to move her to see if she was awake."

'His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating'

This morning's evidence started with a central Auckland pharmacist talking about her interaction with the accused on December 3.

In a statement read to the court, Eliana Golberstein said the alleged murderer went into the store about 3.40pm and was "behaving oddly."

She said he was "standing there weirdly looking at the cameras and playing with his hands".

Golberstein said the accused informed her he had a bad allergy and had hives on his hands.

"I noticed he was not speaking to my face or looking at my eyes," her statement read, adding there were red marks between his fingers and on the back of his hands.

"His eyes were creepy looking, they are rather intimidating," Golberstein said.

She prescribed antihistamines.

After seeing the accused's name published in overseas media in stories about the disappearance of Millane "it triggered me to come in and talk to police".