21 Feb 2020

The Grace Millane case: A timeline

12:45 pm on 21 February 2020

Warning: This story and related coverage of the trial contain graphic details that may be distressing for some readers

British backpacker Grace Millane arrived in New Zealand on 20 November, 2018.

Days later, she was strangled by a man in his CityLife apartment in Auckland. Her killer, who has name suppression, was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.

This is what happened.

Grace Millane

Grace Millane. Photo: Supplied

  • 20 November 2018: Grace Millane arrives in New Zealand.
  • 1 December 2018: Millane sends a photo of a Christmas tree at Sky City to her family back in England. It's the last time she contacts them.
  • Millane and the man go on a date, bar hopping in central Auckland. She was last seen alive at about 9.40pm. CCTV footage shows her exiting a lift at the CityLife Hotel with the man. A few hours later, she was dead.

  • 2 December 2018: Millane's 22nd birthday.
  • The man cleans his apartment, buys a suitcase to put Millane's body in and hires a car. He heads to Ponsonby for another Tinder date that afternoon.

    About 24 hours after she was last seen, the man wheels a suitcase with Millane's body in it out of the CityLife Hotel and puts it in the rental car.

  • 3 December 2018: The man drives to the Waitākere Ranges and buries Millane's body in a shallow grave.
  • 5 December 2018: Millane is reported missing by her family after she fails to respond to their birthday messages.
  • 7 December 2018: David Millane arrives in New Zealand and makes an emotional appeal for any information about his daughter's disappearance.
  • 8 December 2018: The missing persons investigation turns into a homicide inquiry. The man is charged with murder.
  • 9 December 2018: Millane's body found in the Waitākere Ranges.
  • 10 December 2018: Man makes his first appearance in the Auckland District Court.
  • 16 January 2019: Man pleads not guilty in the High Court at Auckland.
  • 4 November 2019: Trial begins in the High Court at Auckland, with a jury of seven women and five men.
  • 22 November 2019: Justice Moore sums up the case and the jury retires to consider its verdict. After five hours of deliberations, the jury delivers a guilty verdict.
  • 21 February 2020: Man sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years in the High Court at Auckland.