BRITISH backpacker Grace Millane was a member of multiple BDSM dating sites and allowed a former partner to choke her during sex, her murder trial heard today.

But the man told police he and the 21-year-old used a system of safe words and signals to make sure she was never in danger.

NINTCHDBPICT000454082368 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
A trial into Grace’s murder heard that the British backpacker had accessed BDSM dating site shortly before her death
Refer to Caption

NINTCHDBPICT000537688007 1 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
PA:Press Association

Grace and the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons[/caption]

NINTCHDBPICT000541092955 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
Grace was a member of multiple BDSM dating sites, including Whiplr, above
Whiplr

A statement from the man, whose identity is protected, was read to the jury today at the trial of a 27-year-old New Zealander accused of strangling Grace to death at the end of a Tinder date.

The defendant, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, says she died accidentally during consensual sex at his apartment in Auckland last December and says she asked him to put his hands on her neck during rough sex.

‘SAFE WORD’

In his statement read today, her former partner said he and Grace had researched how to practice choking safely.

“When we researched it we knew the word was asphyxiation,” he told police. “Grace and I discussed keeping hands wide and on the side of the neck, never on the front.

“Grace and I would have a safe word most of the time which we had discussed, something like “turtle” or something ridiculous. Grace and I used a tapping practice too. If Grace tapped me three times then it would stop.

“Grace would tap out maybe one in four times.

“Grace would be sure to do this and I trusted that anytime it was too much for Grace she would do this. Grace and I were careful to discuss not only the physical but the psychological aspects to practising BDSM.”

The jury was also read a statement from one of Grace’s friends, who said the University of Essex graduate “enjoyed her partner to put his hands around her neck”.

“I can’t really remember the exact words used but it was something like that, said in a jokey way as we talked about sex with our partners,” she told New Zealand police.

“Grace referred to enjoying a bit of rough sex sometimes when you’re having one of those nights when you’re really, really attracted to one another or when you were particularly turned on. I had the impression that it was normally regular sex but maybe rougher when she was more turned on.”

NINTCHDBPICT000454082356 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
Grace Millane, 22, vanished on December 1, 2018, while backpacking
Facebook
NINTCHDBPICT000455240481 e1573025035995 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
Grace Milane died the day before her 22nd birthday in New Zealand last December
Press Association Images
NINTCHDBPICT000537526125 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
CCTV captured her in a lift with the suspect, thought to be the last image of her alive

BDSM SITES

The trial heard statements today from police that they had traced Grace’s messaging on two BDSM dating sites, called Whiplr and FetLife.

Grace, according to data retrieved from Whiplr, had been active on the site just an hour before meeting the defendant outside the SkyCity casino in central Auckland.

But opening the defence case, defence barrister Ron Mansfield told the jury: “All the evidence shows that Miss Millane was a loving, bright, intelligent young woman and she was.

“That is her reputation and that should be her reputation and her memory at the start of this trial and at the conclusion if it.

“The fact that we need to discuss with you what she liked to do in the bedroom should have no impact on he reputation at all.”

But, he said: “It’s important that we are fully informed. It’s not the time for embarrassment or immaturity.

“If this couple engaged in consensual sexual activity which included pressure being applied to her neck with her consent and that went wrong, that is not murder.

“Death through this mechanism may be thankfully be rare but it does happen and sadly it happened here.”

Mr Mansfield said the defendant admits Grace died from pressure he placed on her neck but said expert evidence was consistent with his account that it was consensual, not violent.

In a police interview, the trial heard last week, he said he only realised Grace was dead when he found her lying on the floor but admits then cramming her body into a suitcase which he buried in a shallow grave in the woods.

Mr Mansfield said his failure to call for help, disposal of Grace’s body and lies to police were due to panic.

“He may have thought he wouldn’t be believed,” Mr Mansfield told the jury, “but don’t prove him right.”

The trial continues.

NINTCHDBPICT000539315936 1 - Murdered Brit Grace Millane was a member of BDSM sites and asked ex to choke her in bed, trial hears
Stephen D'Antal

The Brit backpacker’s body was later found inside a suitcase[/caption]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *