British backpacker Grace Millane was murdered by a man “seeking total domination and some sort of weird thrill over women who were his sexual partners”, a court heard today.
Her killer had then taken “trophy photographs” because of a “morbid interest in a dead woman’s genitalia”, prosecutor Brian Dickey said.
Mr Dickey was making his closing speech at Auckland High Court in New Zealand as the trial of A 27 – year-old man charged with murder draws to an end.
He said there was a “compelling case of murder” against the defendant, who claims Grace died after consenting to being choked during sex.
“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.”
Mr Dickey said evidence from pathology experts was clear that it would take between five and 10 minutes of sustained pressure before Grace, a university graduate from Essex, died.
And he said the Crown did not have to prove the man, whose identity is protected, had meant to kill her, only that he
“If you kill someone by conscious risk-taking that is murder,” he said.
“If you are satisfied he knew that he was doing something tha t was causing some level of harm. “
Mr Dickey dismissed the man’s version of events in a second police interview, where he claimed he had fallen asleep in the shower of his apartment and found Grace dead on the floor hours later, as a “labyrinth of storytelling”.
He had lied about trying to take an overdose of pills after she died because “he’s trying to make out he’s a decent human being”.
In fact, said Mr Dickey, the man had been searching for a place and a way of disposing of Grace’s body and had then taken seven intimate photographs of her before watching hardcore porn.
These were all facts he had avoided telling police when he admitted Grace had died in his room after a Tinder date last December.
“There’s really no way out of the photographs for the defendant , “said Mr Dickey. If they were taken while she was alive, he said, it was proof he was already planning her death and disposal.
If she was dead, he said, it proved the man had “eroticised her death “.
” You mustn’t forget she is just a living, breathing, happy young woman, “he told the jury of seven women and five men. “She had a nice evening out. She had met someone she was interested in. She was walking around town, had some kissing.
” We are not talking about a body we are talking about a real person. “
Mr Dickey said the man’s claim to police that he was distressed by what had happened to” a person he had a real connection with “, could be dismissed by the way he treated her – with “a complete and utter absence of dignity”.
Rather than calling emergency services he had bought cleaning supplies and arranged another Tinder date for that afternoon.
And he said the man had still never admitted to causing her death, only “a little touchy touchy on the throat”.
The defense, said Mr Dickey,are not admitting murder or manslaughter, but instead “saying no foul, accident, he should walk free. It’s a terrible business but he didn’t do anything wrong”.
And, he said, the defense claimed what the accused did after Grace’s death was down to panic and did not help the jury decide how she died.
In fact, said Mr Dickey, the defendant had been “nonchalant” as he went to buy a second suitcase to replace the one he buried in the woods with Grace’s body inside.
“He as cool as a cucumber, able to say to Detective Settle: ‘Don’t worry about that , that’s still in my room, go and have a look. I haven’t bought a suitcase to dispose of a body ‘.
“That’s the level of planning, almost as if he is playing a game with the police, that tells you something about his mindset.
“He’s pretty good at this.”
Mr Dickey said Grace’s sexual history, during which she practiced consensual ch oking with a former partner, was irrelevant.
Her death “is not sex gone wrong,” he said.
“It can’t be consent because of what was happening. She must have gone limp and he must have carried on and that must be murder. “
Defense counsel Ian Brookie will address the jury later.
(Read More) **********************
GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings