Grace Millane jury hear closing statements in murder trial 

The prosecutor said: ‘You can’t consent to your murder’

Hide Images

The jury in the Grace Millane murder trial have heard the Crown and defence’s closing statements, with prosecutors saying her death was caused by “reckless violence”, and that the accused “eroticised her death”.

Prosecutor Brian Dickey argued there was “powerful evidence in this case that Grace was murdered” rather than it being a tragic accident, as claimed by the defence. 

“It’s not safe sex play that killed Grace Millane, it’s strangulation”, said Mr Dickey.

“At some point in which she lost consciousness and would have become limp and lifeless and he had to carry on…and if that’s not reckless murder, someone will have to explain to me what is.”

“You can’t consent to your own murder.”

Auckland City Police released CCTV footage inside the lift of a hotel the defendant lived at the time, it was the last time she was seen alive

The defence argued the accused, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was doing what his sexual partner asked him to do. They argued both Grace and the defendant were inexperienced in BDSM, and didn’t know how to do it “properly”. 

Defence lawyer Ian Brookie said in his closing statement that “what they were doing, putting pressure in each others’ necks, is now just a part of having sex for some people. They were not thinking of it as a dangerous act.

“He was not experienced enough to actually know how to do this properly and what the dangers actually were.”

Mr Dickey told the jury “this isn’t a little bit of sex gone wrong”, recalling pathology experts said it would take between five to 10 minutes for strangulation to be fatal, adding Grace would’ve gone “limp” and unconscious, showing other obvious physical signs of distress. 

“The person doing that must have known that they were hurting her, causing her harm, that might well cause her death, but they were reckless and carried on, and she died”, Mr Dickey told the jury.

Mr Dickey also informed the jury, made up of seven women and five men, that pathologists said death from strangulation during sex was “incredibly rare”. 

Both closing statements reflected on the actions of the defendant after Grace’s death. 

Mr Dickey disagreed with the Mr Brookie’s argument that the accused panicked after her death, telling the jury he was “cool, calm, in control”. The prosecution told the jury after Grace’s death, the accused took photographs of her body, watched porn and searched “flesh-eating birds” as well as a place to dispose of the body. 

The prosecution said the defendant was seen on CCTV taking the suitcase with Grace’s body in down the lift, and into a car. They also told the jury a shovel and cleaning products were bought to remove the blood stains. 

Grace’s body was found in the Waitākere Ranges outside Auckland.

The defendant denies he took pictures, watched porn, searched flesh-eating birds and rigor mortis.

Mr Brookie said: “When confronted with the crisis of this unexpected, unforeseen and unintended death the defendant freaked out…he reacted badly.” 

Mr Dickey said the accused murderer showed “a complete and utter absence of dignity” after her death.

Judge Simon Moore is expected to sum up the trial on Friday, before sending the jury out for deliberation.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Suspect pleads not guilty to the murder of Lincoln grad Grace Millane

Grace Millane belonged to BDSM sites and had ex-boyfriend choke her, court hears

Grace Millane didn’t die because she’s a young woman who went travelling on her own