Grace Millane murder: Killer sentenced to life in prison

Grace Millane's murderer has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years. 

The 28-year-old man - whose name cannot be published - was convicted in November of murdering the British backpacker in December 2018.

On Friday, Justice Simon Moore sentenced the man to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 17 years. The mandatory sentence for murder is life imprisonment, with an at least 10-year non-parole period. 

The jury of seven women and five men unanimously determined the man committed murder by strangling the young woman to death in the Auckland CityLife hotel after a four-hour Tinder date. The defence had argued during the three-week trial at the Auckland High Court that Millane's death was an accident during a form of rough sex. Her body was found buried in the Waitakere Ranges on December 9, a day after the arrest of her now-convicted killer. 

"Grace was a beautiful, loving, talented daughter," David Millane, Grace's father, told reporters outside court after the murder conviction

"Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever...She did not deserve to be murdered in such a barbaric way."

Millane's disappearance and the eventual homicide investigation received unprecedented attention from New Zealanders - including from the Prime Minister - and made headlines across the globe in the United Kingdom. Vigils and marches sprung up across the country in condemnation of violence against women.

More coverage of the trial can be found here.

Following her killer's arrest, he was granted name suppression which continues to this day. However, several international media outlets outside of the New Zealand jurisdiction have breached the suppression. The man's identity was also revealed in 2018 when he was named in an email about what is trending in New Zealand. 

In the year since Millane's death, her family have set up the Love, grace charity which collects handbags and fills them with toiletry essentials. These are then given to Women's Refuge. There are multiple locations across New Zealand, including in Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson, Gore, and Wellington, where handbags can be dropped off.

"I think she'd [Grace] be proud of us," Millane's cousin Hannah O'Callaghan told The Project on Monday. "I think she'd want to get involved… she'd probably have some ideas of her own."