Grace Millane’s murderer appeals conviction and sentence


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Millane family

Grace Millane was last seen alive on the eve of her 22nd birthday in Auckland, New Zealand

The man who killed British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand has appealed against her murder conviction and sentence.

The 28-year-old, who cannot be named, has been jailed for at least 17 years after a jury found him guilty of murdering Ms Millane at an Auckland hotel in 2018.

After her death, he hid her body in a suitcase and buried her in the bush.

His appeal is based on elements of the court process as well as the length of the minimum parole release period.

During her trial last year, the killer claimed Ms Millane, who was last seen the day before her 22nd birthday, accidentally died, after the couple engaged in brutal sex that was going too far.

But a jury in November rejected that argument and found him guilty of murder.

New Zealand media outlet Stuff said the appeal was based on the weight given to the element of consent, expert evidence, likelihood and negative evidence given by other women about her personality. .

Ms Millane, from Wickford, Essex, met her killer on the dating app Tinder while traveling to Auckland in December 2018.

The trial heard the couple spent the evening drinking before returning to the man’s bedroom at the CityLife Hotel in central Auckland where he killed her.

He then disposed of his body by burying it in a suitcase in the Waitākere Ranges, a mountainous area outside the city.

After her conviction in February, Ms Millane’s mother, Gillian, told the killer she was “absolutely heartbroken that you took my daughter’s future and stole so many memories from us that we were going to create.”

Defense attorney Rachael Reed QC reportedly said at the appeal hearing: “I do not in any way seek to condone or excuse his actions after Miss Millane’s death. I cannot and will not – they are inexcusable. ”

But according to the New Zealand Herald, she argued the jury should have been given more guidance on issues of consent and “more balanced” guidance on expert evidence, and said the sentence was “patently unfair.”

Crown prosecutors said the grounds for appeal relating to the consent instructions were “fragile” and the sentence was not patently excessive, the Herald reported.

The appeal court reserved its decision.

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The identity of the killer is suppressed by New Zealand law


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