JURORS have been shown CCTV of the moment Grace Millane’s suspected killer smuggled her body out of a hotel in a suitcase after ‘strangling her to death’ on a Tinder date.
The footage shows the suspect using a hefty porter’s trolley to wheel two cases into a lift at a hotel in Auckland, New Zealand.
The powerfully-built man was first seen wheeling the trolley into the elevator at the CityLife hotel where he lived full time and going up to his £ 190 a week room.
Shortly afterwards, he returned with it laden with two suitcases, one of which he has since admitted contained university graduate Grace’s naked body folded into a foetal position.
Minutes later he is seen emerging from the elevator and pushing the trolley across the floor of the lobby.
The Brit backpacker’s parents were seen wiping away tears in the public gallery as the clip was shown in court.
Property developer David Millane, 61, and his wife Gill, from Wickford in Essex, have sat through every day of the harrowing murder trial hearing how their daughter died the night before her 22 nd birthday.
Today, they saw how cameras captured her date, a 27 – year-old local man, buying a suitcase and a shovel and transporting her body in a red Toyota hatchback he rented the day she died in December last year.
The trial has already heard claims he used the case to transport Grace’s body in a car to remote woodland where he buried it in a shallow grave.
Jurors were also today shown images of the shocking moment detectives found the suitcase with Grace’s body inside buried in a wooded area outside Auckland.
Gripping video of the suspect’s first police interview was earlier played to the jury at his murder trial.
For more than an hour, the 27 – year-old gave an account packed with details of how he said he had spent the night of his Tinder date with Grace five days before.
With a photograph of the young university graduate, then being treated as a missing person, on the table in front of him he claimed he had said goodbye to Grace with “a hug and a kiss on the cheek”.
He added that he had hoped to see her the next day to celebrate her 22 nd birthday.
Then he told Detective Sergeant Ewen Settle, he had gone to meet a work colleague but ended up drinking himself into a stupor in a pub and waking up in his apartment the next day.
He was a heavy drinker at weekends, he said, when he tended to “go crazy”, and after sharing cocktails with Grace he had gone to a bar and drunk 10 beers.
The suspect said he woken up the next morning, had “a bit of a vomit” looked at his phone and seen it was (am.
He had tried to text Grace on Tinder the next day but she had unmatched him.
Later that morning he had gone for “a scotch fillet, medium rare, with mushrooms, chips and salad” for breakfast before having a nap and going to meet a friend from work, he told DS Settle.
The detective told him the search for Grace, whose parents had reported her missing the previous day, was ongoing and he asked if the alleged killer would give a voluntary DNA sample.
”100 per cent, ”said the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons. “I know I haven’t done anything wrong so I’m happy to do it.”
“We are very, very concerned for her safety,” DS Settle said. “She might be dead and it could be that you’ve done it.”
The jury of seven women and five men watched, however, as instead of proceeding with the DNA sample, DS Settle told him: “We have reached a point where we have to advise you of your rights.”
He showed the man a photograph of him entering the CityLife hotel, where he lived, at 8. 15 am on the Sunday with a suitcase he had bought that morning and told him: “You haven’t told the truth. You’ve told a lie. ”
The man said: “I’m being truthfully honest with you, I’ve still got that bag in in my room.
“I might have got the times wrong but if you are assuming I was using that suitcase for something I’ve still got it in my room and you guys can have it.
“It came from The Warehouse [a chain store]. I bought it that day because I was having to move all the stuff out of my room. ”
In fact, the trial has already heard he used the suitcase to take Grace’s body in a hire car to remote, dense woodland where he buried it in a shallow grave early on Monday morning.
The Crown say he bought a second, identical suitcase which was left in his room at CityLife.
He is accused of strangling Grace, from Wickford in Essex, during sex before watching a string of hardcore pornographic videos on his mobile phone.
The man says she died accidentally after asking him to choke her during sex to increase her enjoyment.
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After the footage of the man’s interview, the jury saw cctv footage which showed him on Sunday morning buying the suitcase, cleaning equipment and going for another Tinder date on Sunday afternoon, as Grace lay dead at CityLife.
Her body was discovered a week after her death when police tracked the man’s cellphone
He denies murder. The trial continues.