Grace Millane murder trial: Live updates as accused's previous dates give evidence

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

Women who previously dated the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane have taken the stand at his trial on Monday.

The young British woman was found dead in the Waitakere Ranges on December 9 last year - a week after she went missing on her 22nd birthday and a day after a man was arrested for her murder - a charge he denies.

Last week, the jury saw CCTV footage showing the pair on a four-hour Tinder date before entering the CityLife hotel in which Millane was allegedly killed. Forensic evidence from the hotel room was also revealed in detail.

Women the accused previously met for dates are giving evidence on Monday, but will have their names suppressed. They are expected to speak about their interactions with the man.

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5:15pm - Hundreds of messages between the pair after their November 2 meeting have been discussed, with Mansfield asking on several occasions why the woman never cut the conversation off if she was scared of the man.

In response, the witness continues to repeatedly say she didn't want to make the accused angry and for him to turn up somewhere she may be.

The court proceeding ended just after 5pm with the cross-examination of the women scheduled to continue on Tuesday.

4:45pm - Mansfield suggests the woman is claiming she never wanted a relationship with the accused as she is embarrassed she wanted to continue seeing someone who is now charged with murder. She says that's not true and asked why she would open her life up to everyone in court if she didn't have to.

"I don't want to be here, putting my life out there, saying all these things. It's embarrassing."

4:17pm - Mansfield highlights a message that the woman sent to the accused asking if he wanted to hang out and further texts arranging a time to meet. She says this was part of a plan to lead him on and she would eventually tell him she was busy. The woman also reiterates they never met again.

The woman says one of the reasons she was scared of the man is because he had boasted of having "gang connections". Mansfield says that is nonsense. She doesn't agree.

4:10pm - Court has resumed again, with Mansfield mentioning a message that the accused sent the woman, in which he said he was going to leave the relationship be and wished her luck in life.

During that message, he mentioned that the woman's texts were brief and he wasn't getting much from them. She replied to that text shortly after by saying she didn't enjoy texting and would rather meet with people in person.

Mansfield again asks why she didn't use that opportunity to cut things off, to which the woman says she was still scared about him turning up.

The man messaged the woman saying she didn't seem to be prepared to change her attitude towards texting, to which she said she could.

The lawyer suggests that it seemed like the woman wanted to keep the relationship going. She said she was just leading him on.

3:17pm - After reading out more messages, Mansfield puts it to the woman that she was trying to convey to the man that she wanted to give the relationship a go.

"100 percent, that was my plan," the woman replies.

The lawyer then suggests to her that apart from a conversation about the pain the man was feeling - which he said was the result of a cancer he claimed to have - nothing was unusual about the night the pair met.

"You cannot minimise what happened to me," the woman says.

3:00pm - The Defence lawyer says one message she sent to him asked what his plans were for the day. She says she messaged this as to keep a casual conversation going.

At one stage, in the day after their night together, she tried to ring him and sent a message with an "x", which Mansfield indicates meant a kiss.

The witness explains this by saying she wanted to speak to the man on the phone. She says by speaking, rather than texting, he would have less time to come up with a response.

After going through several messages between the pair, Mansfield asks the witness why she didn't just not respond if she was scared of him.

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

The lawyer put it to the witness that during the date between the pair, no specific personal details were shared by the woman - something she didn't accept.

2:48pm - Mansfield is now asking why the woman didn't raise with the accused the events she has spoken about when he messaged her in the following day.

She says she had already spoken to him about it in person and didn't want to get into it again with the man as he knew where she went to university.

"I didn't want to make him angry... [he] made me fearful."

2:38pm - Court has resumed with Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield cross-examining the woman.

Mansfield asks if she over-exaggerated what happened on the night she met the accused.

"Not at all," she tells the jury. The woman says she told police about what happened before she knew of the specific allegations against the man relating to Millane.

The woman also spoke of the first time she met the accused in either March or April 2018 in Newmarket.

After having drinks, the pair had sex, which she considered fairly normal. She says nothing stood out.

1:05pm - Another woman the accused met on Tinder has taken the stand. They met on the dating application in March 2018, but it was a meeting in November that was the main focus of her testimony on Monday.

After having a few drinks in the CityLife hotel, the accused told her he loved her and wanted to be with her. He then kissed her and began to lead her to the bed. But the woman says she told him she didn't want to have sex as she was on her period.

Eventually the pair had oral sex. At one point during this, he sat on her face, with his genitals near her mouth and nose. She says she couldn't breathe.

"I started kicking, trying to indicate that I couldn't breathe." She describes her kicking as violent and believes he knew she couldn't breathe.

"I couldn't breathe. I was terrified… He just sat there. He didn't move at all."

To try to get him off her, she lay limp, hoping he would think she had passed out. She began thinking about her family and friends.

"This can't be the way I die."

Suddenly, she says, he got up and asked her what was wrong. She says she was still catching her breath and was in shock. He said "You don't think I did that on purpose?"

The accused said it was clear she didn't like him and didn't want to be with him, before saying he "should go kill [himself]".

She stayed in the apartment as she was scared he would follow her.

The accused went to the bathroom and came back saying he was in pain. The woman says she used this as a way to leave by telling him she would go to get help.

She left, but in the days afterwards and into early December, the man kept messaging her. The woman would put off meeting him again, but didn't go into detail with him about what happened when they had previously met up as not to "aggravate him". She was scared he would get angry and find her.

The court has now taken a break and will return with the defence to ask the woman questions.

12:17pm -
Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield says messages provided to the police between the woman and the accused from December 1 don't include any suggestion of an offer to meet up.

The woman says she recalls the accused asking what she was doing, which she took as interest from him to meet. The lawyer asked if she had any phone record of this conversation, to which the witness said no.

Mansfield also put it to her that considering there were no messages from him telling her he liked rough sex or strangulation, this didn't happen.

"He definitely did," the witness replies, but she cannot recall when the conversation took place. She also confirms the pair only had a few brief phone calls over the roughly eight months they knew each other.

11:47am - Under cross-examination, the woman tells the jury she only spoke to the man over the phone several times. They first communicated over Tinder in February, before eventually messaging on Facebook Messenger and via text.

She admits, in messages referred to by Mansfield, that there was no record of strangulation being mentioned by the accused. However, she was adamant it came up sometime, possibly over the phone.

The woman confirms she was never interested in having "rough sex" with the accused as it wasn't something she was into.

11:35am - According to the witness, the accused contacted her on December 1, wanting to meet up. However, as she was busy moving houses, this never happened.

She also "didn't feel comfortable meeting him with some of the things he wanted me to do".

On December 3 or 4 - days after the man allegedly murdered Millane - the woman says the accused contacted her. She says he wanted to meet, but they didn't go on a date.

11:30am - The court has resumed after a short break. Another woman the accused talked to over Tinder is giving evidence.

The woman - who cannot be named - says she never met the man in person, but spoke over the phone. During one of these calls, he brought up his sexual preferences.

"He liked feet and dominating and strangulation... He would talk about enjoying it and why he liked it"

She says he said he liked this as it made him feel "superior" and in control.

11:00am - The woman tells the jury that after the accused began kissing her in the CityLife hotel room, she told him she liked having her breath restricted and said that could be done by placing his hand on her neck.

After this happened, he let go, and the pair had intercourse for a short period.

Speaking to the court, she says she never considered the sex violent. The woman told the police that it was fairly "vanilla".

The woman has now finished giving evidence.

10:46am - The woman is now being cross-examined by defence lawyer Ron Mansfield. She is talking about the phone app Tinder and how it doesn't allow anyone to see the person's address or number. This has to be given by the individual on Tinder.

She says in her experience, many people on the app are looking for casual hook-ups, while others want medium to long-term relationships.

10:40am - The woman says she never hooked up with the accused again, but did message him multiple times as she had left her glasses at his apartment.

She saw the accused on the night of December 1 while he was at a restaurant with Millane and briefly talked to him, asking for her glasses back. He returned these on December 4.

10:31am - The woman says the pair went up to a room in the hotel and talked for a while. After having several drinks, the accused kissed her and "it slowly moved to the bed".

She says they had sex which included the man choking her with one hand. She reiterated this was a preference of her's, gave her pleasure and was consensual. The woman said he didn't push too hard and she had no marks on her after the encounter.

After sex, they ate pizza and she left at about 11pm.

10:23am - The proceedings at the Auckland High Court have begun with a woman who went on a date with the accused.

The woman - who cannot be named - said she agreed to meet up with the accused late in mid-November at a CityLife hotel room. Communicating via an online messaging platform beforehand, the woman expressed her preference for rough sex and choking.

"He did say he liked rough sex as well but I don't remember if he said anything about choking," she says.

9:57am - A large group of people are waiting outside the courtroom for the hearing to begin.

9:30am - Proceedings at the Auckland High Court will resume at 10am after the weekend break. At the end of Friday's hearing, the jury heard no drugs were found in Millane's system at the time of post-mortem. That wrapped up the initial forensic evidence section of the trial.