Grace Millane murder trial: The case that gripped New Zealand

The trial is expected to last four weeks.
The trial is expected to last four weeks. Photo credit: Instagram

The trial of the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane in December 2018 will begin on Monday.

Her week-long disappearance last year sparked an unprecedented reaction across New Zealand and around the world, with missing person reports going viral on social media, vigils being held in numerous Kiwi towns, and the Prime Minister tearing up while apologising to Millane's family.

The disappearance

Nearly two weeks into her Kiwi travels, on December 2 - Millane's 22nd birthday - her family became concerned when they didn't hear from her. After no response to her messages for three days, the family filed a missing person report and began to share pleas for information on social media which quickly went viral and attracted international attention.

"It's really unusual for Gracie," her brother Michael Millane told Newshub at the time. "As a family we've spoken every day to each other just via Whatsapp."

With radio silence from the passionate artist and grave fears from police about her safety, her father David travelled to New Zealand to join the search efforts. In an emotional press conference on December 7 in Auckland, the teary dad issued a heartfelt appeal for help.

"As a family, we have been extremely concerned for her welfare. Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter. Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time," he said.

"I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to anybody who has seen, spoken to, or come into contact with Grace over the last few days to come forward with any detail."

Details of Millane's death and tributes to the woman were spread across newspapers around the world, with international media swarming Auckland to attend press conferences, court appearances and the vigils. 

In January, hundreds turned up for the 22-year-old's funeral at Brentwood Cathedral in the United Kingdom. Among the media outlets to report on the funeral were the BBC and The Sun.

The accused will face trial from November 4 in the Auckland High Court. It is expected to last about four weeks. 


Contact Newshub with your story tips: