A jury in New Zealand on Friday convicted a 27-year-old man of murdering British backpacker, Grace Millane.
The verdict was reached after five hours by the jury of seven women and five men. The victim’s parents, who had flown from the UK to New Zealand for the trial, wept as the verdict was delivered.
Her parents welcomed the verdict but said it would not reduce their “pain and suffering” in the year since her death, saying she was taken in “the most brutal fashion.”
“Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever,” said her father outside of court, according to the New Zealand Herald.
Murdered during backpacking trip
Grace Millane was murdered on December 2, 2018, while on a year-long backpacking trip after finishing university.
During the trial, the court heard how she had met up with the man for drinks via dating app, Tinder, and then went to his hotel room with him in central Auckland, where he strangled her during sex.
Following her death, the accused put Millane’s body in a suitcase before renting a car and driving about 25 kilometers into bushland outside of Auckland and burying her body.
She was found days later on December 9.
The court also heard how he took intimate photographs of the victim after her death and went on another Tinder date the day after her murder with another woman where he recounted a story about a woman dying accidentally during sex that “went all wrong.”
The man, who has not been named by the court for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty, saying that she had died accidentally during consensual sex between two young people.
The man was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on February 21.
kmm/rt (AP, dpa)
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