Grace Millane trial: CCTV ‘shows accused wheeling body in suitcase’

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Media captionThe court was shown CCTV of the suspect taking a suitcase out of his hotel

A jury has been shown CCTV of a man accused of murdering a British backpacker pushing a suitcase said to contain her body.

Grace Millane, of Wickford, Essex, died on the night before her 22nd birthday while travelling in New Zealand.

The suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murder.

He had been on a date with Ms Millane the day before he left his Auckland hotel with two suitcases. Prosecutors claim Ms Millane was in one of them.

The court heard the suitcase was then buried in woodland outside the city.

Prosecutors allege the suspect strangled Ms Millane before disposing of her body.

But the defendant claims the University of Lincoln graduate died on 1 December after they engaged in consensual rough sex.

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Grace Millane died on the night before her 22nd birthday while travelling in New Zealand

The footage showed the man buying a suitcase, shovel and cleaning products as well as hiring a car in the days after Ms Millane’s death.

In his police interview the man told officers he had been in a drunken stupor until 09:00 or 10:00 on 2 December – however the CCTV showed him buying a suitcase at 08:14.

He told police officers they could have the bag which was “still in my room” and had not been used.

However, footage also showed him buying a second grey suitcase.

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The court was shown footage of the defendant buying a shovel

Auckland High Court also heard from a woman who went on a Tinder date with the 27-year-old defendant the day after Ms Millane’s death.

She said: “He said he had heard of a guy who had asked his girlfriend to have rough sex with him, strangulation and asphyxiation.

“He has tried to revive her but she died and he got sent down for manslaughter.”

She said he had been “intense” while talking about it and empathetic with the man in the story.

He also discussed how his police officer friends had been struggling due to the number of bodies being buried in Waitakere Ranges, the area where Ms Millane’s body was discovered.

After Ms Millane’s death the man washed the rental car and left the shovel at the car wash and was also seen putting items, the crown says her personal effects, in a bin in an Auckland park, the jury was shown.

The trial continues.

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