'I click with him' murdered Grace Millane said of alleged killer

7 November 2019, 06:37 | Updated: 7 November 2019, 08:55

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A court in New Zealand has heard Grace Millane messaged her friend to say "I click with him so well" about the man who allegedly strangled her hours later.

Ms Millane told her friend the date with the 27-year-old suspect, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was going "really good".

Auckland High Court has been shown CCTV footage of the 22 year-olds final movements before she died in December last year.

The backpacker sent a series of messages to a friend on December 1, 2018, in which Ms Millane admitted to wanting to "get smashed" with the man she met on Tinder.

A letter by her friend, Ameena Ashcroft, was read to the jury and said Ms Millane referred to "getting smashed" on the date and said the encounter was going "really good".

"'Mate, he lives in a hotel'," Ms Millane messaged Ms Ashcroft.

"'You have to go to his apartment in the hotel, bet it's like the top floor'," Ms Ashcroft replied.

"'He is coming to London next year'," Ms Millane wrote. She then sent what would be her final message: "'I click with him so well.'"

Murdered British backpacker Grace Millane
Murdered British backpacker Grace Millane. Picture: PA

The Crown has alleged that the man, who cannot be named due to a suppression order, murdered the young woman from Wickford, Essex, and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her in a forested area outside Auckland.

The defence claims the death, on either December 1 or December 2, 2018, the date of Ms Millane's 22nd birthday, was accidental.

Security footage played for the jury showed Ms Millane, who was on a round-the-world trip, visit a number of bars in the city centre with the accused 27-year-old where they drank alcohol.

The pair were shown on CCTV kissing repeatedly at the Bluestone Room before walking arm-in-arm a short distance into the lobby of the CityHigh hotel where the defendant was staying.

Ms Millane was shown to follow the defendant out of the lift at 9.41pm.

It was the last time she was seen alive.

The court heard an investigation found a number of online searches on the defendant's phone.

The data showed the man had used Google to browse websites for large duffel bags, suitcases and car hire.

The defendant's phone was also used to search for "rigor mortis."

As we reported yesterday the court heard search data showed the defendant had searched online for "the hottest fire", "large bags near me" and "Waitakere Ranges" - where Ms Millane's body was later found contorted inside a suitcase on December 9, 2018 - before going on another Tinder date later that day.

The trial continues and is expected to last five weeks.

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