Grace Millane murder trial: Accused's Tinder match to return to court after suffocation allegations

Warning: This article contains graphic content that may disturb some readers.

A woman who has accused Grace Millane's alleged murderer of suffocating her during sex will return to the witness box on Tuesday at the Auckland High Court.

Three Tinder matches of the 27-year-old man accused of murdering Millane in December last year gave evidence at his trial on Monday. One woman said she was suffocated when the man sat on her face after oral sex at the CityLife hotel in early November, 2018.

The witness - who cannot be named - told the jury of seven woman and five men that she was "terrified" during the experience, fearing for her life and left scared of the man afterwards.

"I started kicking, trying to indicate that I couldn't breathe," she said.

More coverage of the trial can be found here.

She described her kicking as "violent" and said she was using her full force to get him off her. It is her opinion that he knew she couldn't breathe. 

After he suddenly got up, the woman claimed he said he didn't mean to stop her breathing. She said she was shocked and still has "chills" about the man's attitude afterwards.

But under cross-examination, Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield pushed the visibly upset woman on why she continued to message the man after the alleged incident if she was scared of him.

Mansfield pointed to hundreds of messages he suggested implied she wanted to continue seeing him. One message the woman sent to the accused asked what his plans were. Another included an "X", which the lawyer said indicated a kiss.

The witness explained by saying she was "fearful" of the man and didn't want to get him angry by making accusations against him or cutting off the conversation. She also didn't want the man to turn up at places she could be - like her university - that she said she told him about in the hotel room.

"I was afraid he was going to show up in my life... blocking his call won't make him forget all the things I told him," the woman replied on one occasion.

Ron Mansfield.
Ron Mansfield. Photo credit: Getty.

Mansfield suggested she over-exaggerated or dramafied what happened in the hotel room and that if she did lose her breath during an awkward sex angle, the accused didn't realise. She said he definitely did.

"Why would I want to go through this, with my life out there? I don't want to be here, putting all this stuff out here. This is embarrassing for me," she told the court.

But the woman will have to return to court on Tuesday, with Mansfield indicating he still had roughly 30 minutes of questioning to go. Hearing that, the woman broke down and said she didn't want to come back.

A pathologist who inspected Millane's body after it was discovered in a suitcase buried in the Waitakere Ranges will also likely give evidence.

The Crown's case is that Millane was murdered by the man - who has name suppression throughout the trial - in the CityLife hotel via sustained pressure to the neck. However, the Defence disputes this and says her death was an accident after a form of rough consensual sex gone wrong.


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