Millane trial: Room tests suggests clean-up - scientist

An image from CCTV footage viewed in court today showing the defendant and Grace Millane entering...
An image from CCTV footage viewed in court today showing the defendant and Grace Millane entering CityLife at 9.40pm. Photo: Supplied

Warning: This story and related coverage of the trial contain graphic details that may be distressing.

Luminol testing showed bloody footprints in the room of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane, a court has heard.

The 27-year-old, who cannot be named, is on trial before a jury of seven women and five men in the High Court at Auckland this month.

It's the Crown's case he murdered Ms Millane in his CityLife apartment after meeting for a Tinder date in Auckland's CBD last December.

The man's defence team is arguing the British backpacker's death is accidental after rough sex with her consent and encouragement.

ESR scientist Dianne Crenfeldt examined his apartment, where it's agreed Ms Millane died on the night of 1 to 2 December last year.

This morning she told the jury luminol testing identified two probable blood stains between the bed and the wardrobe; one 70cm and another 30cm in diameter.

She said the larger stain had circular smearing within it, while the smaller one had a more defined, circular shape, consistent with the base of a bucket, and surrounding spots showed blood was likely dripped onto the carpet.

Grace Millane was in New Zealand as part of her OE. Photo: supplied
Grace Millane was in New Zealand as part of her OE. Photo: supplied
The court has heard no bucket was found when police searched the apartment.

Ms Crenfeldt couldn't determine how the blood had dripped but said it could been cast off from a body or fallen from a mop after being diluted with water.

She said the staining supported a theory that a clean up had occurred but could not say how old the blood was or when any cleaning may have occurred.

"The shape of probable blood staining showed strong support for the proposition that clean up of blood had occurred in this area."

The jury has heard the defendant told police he fell asleep in the shower after having sex with Ms Millane before getting into bed to sleep.

He said he woke up the next morning to find Ms Millane dead, and bleeding from the nose, on the floor of his bedroom.

This morning the court heard luminol testing showed blood smearing on the carpet which indicated movement around the room when it was still wet.

"It's the same with the footprints around the room which show somebody with blood on their feet moved around the room and transferred blood to these areas."

The court heard this blood wasn't visible to the naked eye but luminol testing, which is extremely sensitive, had identified the affected areas.

But Ms Crenfeldt said when the carpet was lifted, there was blood visible on the underside of the carpet, as well as on the underlay and the concrete floor.

Yesterday, the scientist said she was asked to examine an Adidas sports bag and a black suitcase found in a wardrobe that were of particular interest to police.

"I was advised that these bags had been seen on CCTV being removed from the building at the time of interest.

"I was also advised that the black sports bag, along with the bedding, had been taken to a dry cleaners where it had been cleaned."

Ms Crenfeldt said there was no blood on the Adidas bag but stains were found in the carpet, on the fridge and on the suitcase.

Ms Millane's parents David and Gilliane have been in court again today to hear the forensic evidence and cross-examination by the man's lawyer Ian Brookie.

The trial before Justice Moore and a jury is set down for four weeks but may finish earlier.

 

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