British backpacker's killer who strangled her to death on her birthday appeals conviction

A New Zealand man found guilty of murdering Grace Millane  appealed his conviction and punishment on Thursday.

His defence team said he did not get a fair trial and the sentence was too harsh.

The man, aged 28 and who’s identity is being kept a secret under New Zealand law when other impending trials are foreseen, was convicted of strangling Grace to death and then dumping her body.

The recent graduate of the University of Lincoln was celebrating her 22nd birthday in Auckland, New Zealand in 2018, when she met the man on the dating app Tinder and agreed to meet at a bar in the city.

They then went back to the man’s apartment where he strangled her to death.

He claimed they had both consented to ‘erotic choking’ which according to defence lawyers had ‘gone too far.’

However, the man put her into a suitcase and buried her in woods outside of the city of Auckland.

The jury convicted him of murder in November 2019.

a judge sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.

Lawyer Rachael Reed told the Court of Appeal judges that she was not seeking to excuse the man’s “abhorrent” actions after Ms Millane’s death.

But she said the judge placed too much weight on those actions in determining the man’s sentence.

Ms Reed also said the conviction had problems, including questions around the issue of consent, some of the expert evidence, and negative evidence given by other women about the man’s character.

The man’s case will be heard at a later date.


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