Jury unanimous: Guilty verdict in Millane trial

Grace Millane died on the weekend of her 22nd birthday. Photo: Supplied
Grace Millane died on the weekend of her 22nd birthday. Photo: Supplied

Grace Millane was murdered by the man she met on a Tinder date, the jury has ruled.

Read more on the trial:

The decision was unanimous. The jury took about five hours to reach its decision.

Her parents were in the public gallery for the verdict.

The 27-year-old man stood motionless in the dock as the verdict was read out.

He was remanded in custody for sentencing on February 21.

The verdict ends nearly a year of heartbreak for the British backpacker's family.

Justice Moore told the jury it had been a particularly difficult trial and discharged them from further jury service for the next seven years.

She had set out on her OE and had only been in New Zealand for 10 days when her life was cruelly snuffed out during sex with a man, 27, she had met earlier that night on Tinder. She died on the eve of her 22nd birthday in December last year.

The Crown said her killer spent five to 10 minutes strangling her and then took "trophy" photos of her body. He then created a "labyrinth of storytelling and lies" while calmly disposing of her body and other evidence.

After Millane died, her killer searched on Google for "hottest fire".

Several pornography sites were then accessed and videos viewed.

At 1.59am on the night she died a photo of a naked woman was taken using his phone.

Further internet searches included "car hire Auckland", "time in London", "large sports bags", "flesh-eating birds" and "are there vultures in New Zealand?"

Earlier this afternoon, the High Court at Auckland jury had returned to the court to ask the judge a question - and the jury foreperson had indicated that a verdict would not be be far away.

Justice Simon Moore provided his closing remarks and directions to the jury this morning.

After deliberating for the afternoon the jury knocked on the courtroom door to ask a question.

They asked: "Does 'when he applied pressure' referring to when he started to apply pressure at the beginning or can it refer to any time when he applied pressure?"

Justice Moore said: "It is not limited to the beginning. It can be at any time during the application of force leading to death."

The jury's foreperson told the judge and court that their deliberation wouldn't take much longer and they were likely to reach a verdict this evening.

The Crown alleges the accused strangled the British backpacker to death and then took "trophy" photos of her body.

But the defence claims the 27-year-old "freaked out" after an accidental death during sex.

 

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