22 Nov 2019

Grace Millane's family speak out about guilty verdict

6:20 pm on 22 November 2019

The family of British backpacker Grace Millane, who was killed last year, have spoken out about the guilty murder verdict delivered this afternoon.

A 27-year-old man, who has name suppression, was accused of murdering the British backpacker after a Tinder date on the night of 1 and 2 December last year.

The jury took about five hours to reach its decision today. The man was remanded in custody for sentencing in February.

Justice Moore told the jurors it had been a particularly difficult trial and discharged them from further jury service for seven years.

Ms Millane's mother, Gillian Millane, gasped and began to cry in the public gallery as the unanimous guilty verdict was read out.

Her father David Millane teared up and held Mrs Millane's hand as the trial judge Justice Moore thanked the jury for its service.

Outside court later, Mr Millane cried as he paid tribute to his daughter and said the family welcomed the verdict.

"The verdict of murder today will be welcomed by every member of the Millane family and friends of Grace, it will not reduce the pain and suffering we've had to endure over the past year.

"Grace was taken away from us in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives and family have been ripped apart. This will be with us for the rest of our lives.

"Grace was a beautiful, talented, loving daughter. Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever."

Her father thanked the police force for their professionalism and diligence throughout the investigation, and the Crown prosecution team for their compassion and thoughtfulness, and media for their reporting.

"We'd like to thank the people of New Zealand, they've opened their hearts to Grace and our family.

"I cannot express our gratitude enough for all the offers and gifts of kindness that we've received over the last year. Finally, we must return home and try and pick up the pieces of our lives on a day-to-day without our beloved Grace."

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