Grace Millane murder: Judge says defence case was 'entirely proper'

Warning: This article contains details that may disturb some people.

After he'd completed sentencing on Friday morning, Justice Simon Moore took time out to make an unusual address to the court.

It was to do with the defence case that Grace Millane had consented to rough sex with her killer.

The judge said it was the duty of the defence lawyer to put it forward. The most intimate details of Millane's life and death were discussed in the courtroom but the intense focus on the 22-year-old's sexual history and preferences prompted outrage throughout the world. 

"It is utterly irrelevant," victim advocate Ruth Money said. "Whether someone was participating in rough sex or not, what is relevant is the consent, and no one consented to dying at the hands of anyone."

The defence has been internationally questioned for arguing Millane's death was the result of "rough sex" that went wrong. 

That was something Justice Moore addressed directly on Friday, describing the defence approach as "entirely proper".

"You have been publicly criticised, along with your colleagues, in social media and other media for doing so, and that is wrong," Justice Moore said.

Justice Simon Moore.
Justice Simon Moore. Photo credit: Getty

But just minutes later, Detective Inspector Scott Beard who sat every day for three weeks with the Millane's in court, spoke about the defence that he says shouldn't exist.  

"Strangling someone for 5-10 minutes until they die, is not rough sex," Det Insp Beard said. "If people are going to use that type of defence, all it actually does is repeatedly re-victimise the victim, and the victim's family."

Millane's friends have signed a petition calling for this type of defence to be banned in UK courts.

While the calls are out for the same change to be made in New Zealand, Justice Moore was unequivocal. 

"Anything less, no matter how repugnant the offending will dangerously erode our precious system of justice."