Supreme Court orders last minute suppression for Grace Millane’s killer
New Zealand’s Supreme Court has made a last minute order suppressing the identity of the man who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane.
In August, the killer took his case to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to overturn his murder conviction and sentence.
The court will release its decision at 11am.
Yesterday, the Court of Appeal’s president Justice Stephen Kós, alongside Justice Patricia Courtney and Justice Mark Cooper, also ruled the murderer’s interim name suppression would lapse at the same time.
The killer, however, did not bow to the order and asked the country’s top court to continue his suppression until a second appeal can be heard.
Just before 11am, the Supreme Court made an interim order suppressing his name until further order of the court.
In February, the killer was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum period of 17 years for murdering Millane.
He was convicted in November 2019 after a high-profile trial, which gained international attention, for strangling her to death in an Auckland hotel room.
Millane, who had been travelling the world, went missing on the eve of her 22nd birthday in December 2018.
She had matched with her killer on the dating app Tinder before they met near a Christmas tree under Auckland’s Sky Tower and spent the night drinking at nearby bars.
Millane was last seen alive on CCTV with her murderer, walking towards his downtown Auckland apartment.
But the university graduate would never leave the room alive – her body later found dumped in a shallow grave in the Waitākere Ranges.
“Exactly what happened from the moment Miss Millane first stepped into [the apartment] we will never know,” the trial judge, Justice Simon Moore, said at the killer’s sentencing.
“Only two people were witness to those events and one is not alive to tell us. … We do not know if Miss Millane struggled but it is likely she did.”
The killer has continued to claim he is innocent and controversially argued at trial that Millane died due to complications from consensual sex while both were highly intoxicated and engaged in BDSM.
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