Grace Millane trial – closing arguments

I have tried to avoid a lot of the media detail on the Grace Millane murder trial, but what I had seen made me think it was tending to look like not guilty of murder, but as the defence has claimed, ‘rough sex’ gone badly wrong.

But I read through a summary of the prosecution and defence final arguments in the case yesterday, and that leant me back towards a reasonably possibility of a guilty verdict. There are some aspects that just don’t seem to be accidental, like if someone is being strangled this takes time – several minutes at least – and surely the person putting pressure on another persons throat would notice the victim go limp.

And what is alleged to have happened immediately after death – watching porn, googling Waitakere ranges (where the body ended up being buried) and “hottest fire”, and taking photos of the body (the defence claim there is no proof she ws dead then), don’t fit with the defendant’s claim that they had sex, he had a shower and went to bed and found Millane dead on the floor in the morning.

And then there is the burying of the body and the lying to police.

Stuff have a detailed report on the prosecution and defence final arguments here (read from the Live section bottom to top) – Grace Millane murder trial: Crown and defence sum up the case

Reports from Stuff – Grace Millane murder trial: A ‘compelling case of murder’ or an unforeseen accident?

And: Grace Millane murder trial: Judge to sum up the case

The jury deciding the case of the man accused of murdering Grace Millane will hear a summing up from Justice Simon Moore on Friday.

The jurors will then retire to consider their verdict at the High Court in Auckland.

They have heard closing arguments from the Crown and defence lawyers, as well as weeks of evidence.

It’s difficult to know what the outcome of a trial like this will be from a smattering of media reports only. The jury has heard all the evidence and arguments, and will make decisions based on all of that.

It looks unlikely there will be verdict today or this week.

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33 Comments

  1. Blazer

     /  22nd November 2019

    looks like death by misadventure to me.
    Will not prevent a jail term of 5-6 years on ancillary charges…assuming there are some.

    Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  22nd November 2019

    He lied about the aftermath which then clouds his claims about the event. He should have come clean completely so he is obviously not very bright. Makes it hard for the jury to untangle. Might decide he is so stupid it could have been accidental or not.

    Reply
  3. Gezza

     /  22nd November 2019

    My impression has been a conceivable case of accidental death by sexual misadventure, given her known interest in BDSM but 1News at 6 last night mentioned the explicit supposedly post-mortem photos, which casts doubt on that claim for me. The location & time taken would be in the phone pic details.

    The defence was able to provide expert witness evidence that the likely level of intoxication of the deceased could also have contributed to her death, AND that it is possible to apply brief pressure to one part of the neck & cause death quickly.

    The accused appears to be rather well-heeled & she thought he was some kind of oil executive I believe. Possibly a cool customer type, not given to panicking, & inclined to just methodically & calmly work out what to do when faced with an unforeseen problem.

    The timings & actions & those photos will no doubt be crucial. We don’t know what evidence & testimony has been suppressed.

    I hope there’s a lesson in here for some carefree very young ladies who think Tinder is a safe place to arrange quick-sex dates, but it probably won’t stop some from getting beaten up or murdered or blackmailed.

    Reply
    • The photographs are a problem – that’s a very creepy activity for a young man who has “accidentally” killed a young woman he’s just met on Tinder. Hardly respectful or remorseful.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  22nd November 2019

        Yep. 1News indicated he had “posed” her. That’s very indicative of a serial killer (a la Jack the Ripper) & numerous others. We haven’t seen the photos – but the jury has. So they should know when & where he took them. If he deliberately murdered her, personally, I hope he never makes it out of prison.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  22nd November 2019

          I think that I’d have to say accidental death or manslaughter.

          As an asthmatic, I find it impossible to imagine anyone getting a thrill from being choked and have been amazed to hear that this is still quite common despite the number of deaths from this risky practice.

          There seems little doubt that she was into rough, kinky sex, but I find it outrageous that this invasion of privacy occurred with the details being broadcast every night. I try to tune out without missing the next item. There is no need for the public to hear this about anyone.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  22nd November 2019

            The Herald has an embedded video featuring counsel outlining the key features of the crown & defence summaries to the jury. The timing of the photos & his activities after she must have been dead sound pretty chilling.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  22nd November 2019

            Ugh, ugh, some PDT seems to think that people are entitled to hear about a dead person ‘s sex life; murder porn indeed. How perverted.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  22nd November 2019

              Two PDTs think that; ugh, ugh again. Why would you want to hear such intrusive details about a stranger ?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd November 2019

              Four perverts wanting to know details of a dead person’s sex life…

  4. Kimbo

     /  22nd November 2019

    I see the prosecutor pitched the argument that no one consents to their own murder. However, in and of itself that is begging the question as no one consents to their own accidental death either. Which is what the jury is appointed to decide, not the prosecutor.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd November 2019

      It’s bizarre, but a few people do want to be murdered.

      One woman even advertised on (CraigsList ?) and met someone who wanted to fulfil her fantasty and it’s happened elsewhere.

      Reply
  5. Gezza

     /  22nd November 2019

    Stuff.co is reporting that the Jury say they will probably reach a verdict tonight.

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  22nd November 2019

    Save me from this country and our media. Three News broke the news 10 minutes before their 6pm news hour was to begin. They claim the case has gripped the country. For many of us that isn’t true. Then when the 6pm news started ,the woman presenter with my bro, Mikey, looked like she was going to burst into tears.

    Make no mistake, this case is horrible, and does have an international angle, but why doesn’t a case involving a Maori beating his missus to death for not turning it on, get the same media coverage? I guess such cases just aren’t exciting enough.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd November 2019

      This disappearance & then murder made international headlines, & especially in the UK, because Grace was a young overseas tourist.

      The PM herself went on telly to apologise to the parents & talk about how she should have been safe in NZ.

      That meant it stayed high profile, & then the nature of the case made it the sort of sensationally salacious stuff the media absolutely love, because they get high viewership ratings, online clicks & probably increased print readership.

      They’ll feed on this for days, maybe weeks.

      We get headlines in NZ about similar cases that happen overseas too, quite often.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        It’s not 100% safe anywhere to meet a stranger for sex, get drunk, go to their room and have rough sex. To repeat like a mantra that something SHOULD be safe is absurd, this never has been and never will be.

        Her friend was texting her and knew what she was about to do, but did nothing to dissuade her. What did Jacinda Ardern think that anyone else could have done ?

        People should be safe from speeding and drunk drivers. People should be able to go out and leave the door open and not be burgled. People should be able to do all sorts of things that they can’t, in fact, do,

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd November 2019

          What did Jacinda Ardern think that anyone else could have done ?

          Jacinda in all probability knew absolutely nothing about the case. Except that some innocent & angelic-looking female British backpacker had been murdered. The details of what actually transpired should make no difference at all; she should never have been murdered, but my bet is that had Jacinda been aware beforehand of what we now know she may have elected to say a lot less or nothing & let the police do their work.

          Reply
  7. Patricia

     /  22nd November 2019

    He’s been found guilty of murder.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  22nd November 2019

      Yep. Not surprising. They interviewed his step-brother on 1News. He said he’s caused rifts in the family over his guilt or otherwise.

      But he described him as a pathological liar. The tears, in the police interview, he reckoned were typical & for himself. Not capable of genuine remorse. One of the women he frightened on a sex date called him a sociopath.

      Think I’ve figured out why his name’s still suppressed. He’s facing other charges. That’s my bet.

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  22nd November 2019

      I don’t know why the news showed the same footage over and over, even in the same news hour. It was just murder porn. Some people here disagree that a dead person’s sexual tastes and what they did in bed and the details of their death should not be broadcast for all to hear and some to salivate over, but to me this is the ultimate invasion of privacy, as are all televised trials. These are real people, not courtroom drama actors and actresses and real tragedies. Bad enough that this happened without all the private details being revealed.

      No doubt the prurient who get off on this will downtick to show their disagreement with the idea that the dead person deserves better than this.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  22nd November 2019

        You ARE correct, but as they have all gone for full-on murder porn, it has generated genuine public interest in the case & the outcome.

        The Amber-Rose case has equally salacious aspects but it’s not getting as much coverage.

        Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  22nd November 2019

      A quick verdict so the evidence must have been convincing. Good for the prosecution and her family. If his own step-brother is shopping his character now there won’t be any coming back for him. Of course it would be ironic if the death really was accidental but his psychopathic behaviour and lying afterwards got him convicted. Not that anyone would care.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        I wish that it wasn’t being equated with domestic violence, as they were not in a relationship and had only met that night. This is not domestic violence; how can it be ?

        No one seems to want to seem to be victim blaming by suggesting that getting so drunk that one is twice the legal limit after meeting a stranger for rough sex after finding them in that area on Tinder is risky, to say the least.

        The idea that ‘we’ should have kept her safe is totally unrealistic. What could anyone have done ? Her friend didn’t try to stop her going to a hotel room with a stranger when she was obviously extremely drunk and was sending texts to say that she was doing this…how could anyone else have done anything ?

        Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  23rd November 2019

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/117654922/british-press-breaches-nz-suppression-order-by-naming-grace-millane-murderer

    This must have happened overnight. When I checked for overseas reports on tne verdict last night, all the UK online dailies were observing the protection order. But a drop-down query in the same Google search that gave me those hits also gave me his name.

    I wasn’t even actively looking for it.

    It’s hopeless NZ courts expecting name supression to work in today’s internet envoronment.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      *suppression order

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        I saw the name months ago when I wasn’t looking for it (not that I ever did look for it) but can’t remember it; it meant nothing to me. I probably wouldn’t recognise it again.

        Reply
  9. Blazer

     /  23rd November 2019

    You can guarantee an appeal will be forthcoming.

    Increased interest in BDSM and apps like Whipr a given.
    51 shades of…grey.

    Reply

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