Grace Millane's mother tells killer her daughter died 'terrified and alone'

21 February 2020, 17:06 | Updated: 21 February 2020, 17:11

Grace Millane was murdered whilst travelling in New Zealand
Grace Millane was murdered whilst travelling in New Zealand. Picture: PA

The mother of murdered backpacker Grace Millane told her killer she is tormented over "the terror and pain she must have experienced at your hands."

A 28-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, strangled Ms Millane in a hotel in Auckland after meeting her via Tinder on December 1, 2018 - the day before her 22 birthday.

Her body was later found buried in a suitcase in a forested area outside the city in New Zealand.Gillian Millane told the killer she died "terrified and alone in a room with you".

Speaking via videolink at Auckland High Court, Mrs Millane said: "As a mother I would have done anything to change places with her.

Grace was killed by a man she met on a dating site
Grace was killed by a man she met on a dating site. Picture: PA

"I sit full of guilt knowing I couldn't help her, that I should have been there.

"Your barbaric actions towards my Grace is beyond comprehension."

The killer was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum sentence of 17 years at Auckland Crown Court.

Grace's mother, Gillian told the killer she considered taking her own life when she found out about Grace's death.

"Grace wasn't just my daughter. She was my friend. My very best friend," she said.

"I am absolutely heartbroken that you have taken my daughter's future and robbed us of so many memories that we were going to create.

"The tears I shed are never-ending at the thought of never having the chance to kiss my Grace goodbye."

Her daughter's murderer sat with his head in his hands as the statements were read out.

Grace Millane was murdered in an Auckland hotel
Grace Millane was murdered in an Auckland hotel. Picture: PA

Miss Millane’s parents David and Gillian said the sentencing would not give closure to the family.

Mrs Millane took the time in court to speak about the struggles the whole family have faced since Grace's death.

She said they had been "incapacitated with grief", making them unable to get out of bed, leave the house, or even listen to the radio.

Grace, from Wickford in Essex, was strangled by the man, who she met on a dating site on 1 December 2018.

The two went on a date in the centre of Auckland and spent several hours drinking together.

When they returned to his hotel, the man killed her, before disposing of her body in a suitcase in the Waitākere Ranges, a mountainous area outside the city.

The crown prosecutor Brian Dickey said the man's crime had been “personalised, depraved and callous” and had greatly impacted n how safe young women feel in New Zealand.

Ian Brookie, the man’s defence counsel, argued that the man had no previous convictions, was young and could be rehabilitated with a shorter sentence of ten years.

Brookie also said the man was isolated from his Māori culture, estranged from his family and had a “traumatic” childhood and upbringing.

Sentencing, Justice Simon Moore described his actions after the killing, which included watching pornography, taking photographs of her naked body and going on a date with another woman, as "conduct that underscores a lack of empathy and sense of self-entitlement and objectification".

“Manual strangulation is a particularly intimate form of violence, cold-blooded,” he continued.

“Your actions reveal a complete disregard for your victim.

“You didn’t ring an ambulance, or call the police, instead you embarked on a well-planned and sustained and co-ordinated course of action to conceal any evidence of what had occurred in your room”.

Grace Millane's death shocked many in New Zealand, which prides itself on welcoming tourists and where many people travel abroad themselves.

Hundreds of people attended candlelight vigils after she died, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about New Zealanders feeling "hurt and shame" that she was killed in their country.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Russian soldiers take part in a military exercise in the Donetsk region of Ukraine

17 killed as Russian missiles slam into Ukrainian city

Karol G with the award for best musica urbana album for Manana Sera Bonito during the 66th annual Grammy Awards in February in Los Angeles

2024 Latin Grammys will return home to Miami after controversial move to Spain

Squatters have taken over Twentieth Century Fox, days after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White's restaurants were also arrested

Now squatters take over London film HQ after breaking into Ramsay pub and Marco Pierre White's restaurant

Mohammed Abbkr

Paranoid schizophrenic who set fire to two elderly Muslims outside mosques given secure hospital order

A toddler has been left in critical condition after being bitten by a dog.

Toddler in critical condition after being bitten by 'large breed' dog in Cheltenham home

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and Mark Argent have been left stranded in Dubai

TOWIE stars Joey Essex and James Argent stranded in Dubai flash floods as they try to hitchhike in ankle-deep water

Malmo Arena

Protests and terror threat mean tight security at Eurovision Song Contest

Exclusive
Humza Yousaf hit back at the author.

JK Rowling's 'contempt for women' accusation over misogyny law is 'astonishing and illogical', Humza Yousaf tells LBC

Author Sophie Kinsella has revealed she is battling brain cancer

Bestselling Shopaholic author Sophie Kinsella reveals she has been diagnosed with aggressive form of brain cancer

Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows

Police apologise for failings in investigation into 1986 Babes in the Wood murders of Karen Hadaway and Nicola Fellows

A protester uses a loudhailer during a rally in Athens

Unions in Greece call widespread strikes, seeking return of bargaining rights

Some have claimed cloud seeding may be behind recent flooding in Dubai.

Did controversial ‘cloud seeding’ flights cause torrential downpours and huge flooding in Dubai?

Mick Donovan kidnapped Shannon Matthews over 15 years ago

Shannon Matthews' kidnapper Michael Donovan 'dies of cancer' 16 years after hiding schoolgirl in his bed for 3 weeks

David Cameron has said it is 'clear' Israel is planning to act

Israel is 'making decision to act', David Cameron says in Jerusalem as he urges Netanyahu not to escalate Iran conflict

Starmer and Sunak went head-to-head in the first post-Easter PMQs session

Starmer accuses Sunak of promising £46bn unfunded tax cut as he taunts PM about Liz Truss’ new book at PMQs

David wrote "50 never looked so good"

'50 and fit!': David Beckham shares never-before-seen photos of Victoria as she celebrates her 50th birthday