Grace Millane murder trial: Court to hear about hotel room blood, forensic evidence

Probable blood splatter and other forensic evidence found in the hotel room British backpacker Grace Millane was allegedly murdered in will be at centre of the third day of proceedings at the Auckland High Court.

On Thursday, the jury in the trial of the 27-year-old man accused of killing the 21-year-old Brit watched hours of CCTV footage showing the pair on a Tinder date on December 1 last year.

After venturing to several Auckland Central bars - including the Bluestone Room where the pair kissed and laughed on multiple occasions - they walked to the CityLife hotel. Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey said they were plainly comfortable with each other, while Defence lawyer Ian Brookie said it was a typical Saturday night out for a young couple.

What happened inside a CityLife hotel room is the main point of contention at the trial. While the Crown says Millane was murdered by the man - who cannot be named - after sustained pressure was placed on her neck, the Defence says it was an accident during consensual sex.

Several police officers and expert witnesses took the stand on Thursday to speak of the scene examination that was undertaken in the hotel room days later.

Grace Millane murder trial: Court to hear about hotel room blood, forensic evidence
Photo credit: Supplied.

Forensic scientist Dianne Crenfeldt said that through a series of chemical tests and visual searches, multiple "probable blood" splatter traces were detected. Among other areas, these traces were found on a suitcase in the wardrobe while luminol testing showed bloody footprints on the ground.

Multiple vertical drops of blood were found on the fridge, which Crenfeldt said was likely the result of blood being flicked off an object. She said it was possible the object the blood came off was a body part.

In the bathroom, cleaning products were found under the sink. On the front of one of the products, a red spot was found, according to Detective Samuel Luker. Under cross-examination he said he knew the products had been used as the liquid was depleted.

The Crown said in its opening statement that the accused purchased an array of cleaning products - including a RugDoctor - in the day after Millane was allegedly killed. The Defence, however, says the jury shouldn't place undue weight on the accused's actions after the death, as that wouldn't help them decide what happened in the hotel room.

The blood and other evidence from the scene will be the key focus of Friday's proceedings, with Crenfeldt set to take the stand again. The trial is expected to last up to five weeks.


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