Accused killer 'cleaned up blood' on floor where backpacker died

Clay Curtis
November 10, 2019

She added: "The form of the possible blood staining and the presence of blood on the ground supplied sturdy assist {that a} clean-up of blood had occurred on this space".

Jurors were shown security footage of the British woman, who had arrived a month before while on a round-the-world trip, visiting bars in Auckland with the accused, who can not be named for legal reasons.

A week after the fatal date, however, her body was found crammed into a suitcase and dumped in a shallow grave in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges.

Grace Millane was on a round-the-world trip when she went missing in Auckland.

Those photographs taken in the early hours of December 2 showed intimate photos of a woman's body, the detective said, which the Crown has alleged were taken of Ms Millane after her death.

Scientist Dianne Crenfeldt, from the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), told the jury she had located two approximately circular probable blood stains between the accused's bed and a wardrobe.

The smaller of the stains was extra round and "might have come from a bucket", Ms Crenfeldt mentioned.

A 27-year-old man, who has interim name suppression, is charged with murdering Millane during the weekend of her 22nd birthday last December.

Ms Crenfeldt couldn't determine how the blood had dripped but said it could been cast off from a body or fallen from a mop after being diluted with water. Ashcroft said she found "something out of place", however, she did not react because of being exhausted of all the travelling.

The jury has heard the defendant told police he fell asleep in the shower after having sex with Ms Millane before getting into bed to sleep.

Millane had been dead for over a week before an autopsy was performed.

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The footprints clearly showed someone had walked in blood with their left foot, the scientist said, and "transferred ... blood around the room".

On December 8 past year, Millane's alleged killer gave a police interview in which he said the tourist was bleeding, the court has heard.

However, once the carpet and underlay was lifted, blood was visible and there was red staining on the concrete floor in the "probable blood area", she said.

Her last message to her was that out of everyone at Lincoln University, the college where they met, Ms Ashcroft was her "fav".

Ms Crenfeldt said the cleaning of the carpet could have decomposed DNA evidence.

The jury has watched CCTV footage that tracked the defendant and Ms Millane's movements around Auckland's CBD on their date.

ESR forensic toxicologist Diana Kappatos said she was unable to give an accurate finding for Millane's blood-alcohol level at the time of the death.

She met the suspect on the dating app Tinder, and the pair were seen kissing and going to several bars in the city centre.

The Crown has alleged that the man, who can not 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 trial before Justice Moore and a jury is set down for four weeks but may finish earlier.

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