Man ‘choked waitress during sex days before killing Grace Millane on date’

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THE man accused of murdering backpacker Grace Millane choked a waitress during rough sex just days before, a court heard today.

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, went on a Tinder date with the woman nine days before the 22-year-old Brit was killed.

Grace Millane, 22, vanished on December 1 while backpacking in New Zealand
Grace Millane, 22, vanished on December 1 while backpacking
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The woman, whose identity is protected, told Auckland High Court in New Zealand she had matched with the 27-year-old alleged killer in November last year.

“We asked each other what we preferred during sex and so I did mention that I liked rough sex and also choking,” she said.

“He did say that he liked rough sex as well but I don’t remember if he said anything about choking.”

Questioned by prosecutor Brian Dickey, she said she had gone to man’s apartment at 7pm on November 22 to meet him for the first time.

She bought a bottle of rum and the man met her in the lobby.

“It was a nice place,” she said. “We went up to his room and we started talking to each other. I had about four glasses of rum and coke and he drank about four bottles of Heineken.

“After he went to bathroom he kissed me and from there it went to the bed.”

During sex, she said, “he did choke me a bit because that’s a preference of mine, just one hand around my neck.

Grace Milane died the day before her 22nd birthday
Grace died the day before her 22nd birthday while in New Zealand
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A 27-year-old man is on trial for the murder of Grace Millane
A 27-year-old man is on trial for the murder of Grace Millane
Simon Runting

“It was fine, it was consensual. My breath was a bit restricted but it was something that gave me pleasure.

“It wasn’t too hard that I gasping for air but it wasn’t so soft that I wouldn’t be able to feel it. It was the right pressure

“I didn’t have to push him off me. He let me go when I reached…”

The woman said after ordering in pizza and sharing it she had left the man asleep but tried to contact him again after realising she had left her glasses behind.

But the alleged killer didn’t return them and she didn’t see him again until he walked into the bar where she worked on the night of December 1, this time with Grace, who he had also met through Tinder.

“He came in with a young lady and they walked across the bar to go to a table,” she told the court.

“She looked European. She was wearing a black dress with shoulder length hair.”


The woman served the couple a half litre jug of margarita cocktails containing tequila and blue curacao and sangria with brandy, gin and red wine.

As he was paying, the woman told him how frustrating it was not to have to her glasses.

Under cross-examination, the woman said when she first spoke to police about the date, which she described as “just a hook-up”, she had not mentioned the choking because she “just forgot”.

The man denies murder and the trial continues.

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