Thank heavens the trial of Grace Millane's murderer is over.
I haven't read the daily reports of the trial as it felt too prurient reading the forensic details of a young woman's personal life but working on Newstalk ZB you couldn't help but hear some of the details.
Nobody's life should be exposed like that. But when someone takes your life, they also take away your right to privacy.
The murderer chose not to take the stand in court. Grace didn't have that privilege. Her words, her texts, her messages, her history were all laid bare in an Auckland courtroom, miles away from her home.
Her parents sat through every day of the trial and somehow found the strength to bear the unbearable. As a mother of a young woman, I don't know where I would have found the forbearance.
Not because of the intimate details exposed about my daughter's sex life. Hell, I wouldn't have given a fat rat's bum about that.
Consenting adults can do whatever they like with one another and most attractive, vivacious 21-year-olds are going to explore their sexuality.
I feel that people who commented how ghastly it must be for the parents to hear the lurid details are missing the point — it would be the lurid details of a man taking your daughter's life that would be so hard to bear. And learning of the cruel and callous way he tried to cover his crime would have been devastating to hear.
I am full of respect for David and Gillian Millane. They channelled the pain and anger they must have felt at losing their daughter in such a brutal way into a force for good. Family and friends have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charities supporting victims of domestic violence and they have collected hundreds of bags filled with toiletries to donate to women living in refuges.
It's shows the calibre of the people they are and why Grace was the confident, generous, caring soul she was. Even when they must have been feeling incredible pain, Grace's mum and dad took the time to speak to the media and thanked the police, the legal team, the people of New Zealand — even the press contingent.
I wish them well as they return to the UK to pick up the pieces of their lives, without their daughter. I hope they sustain the strength they showed through the trial throughout the next few days, months and years as they adjust to life without Grace.
It must be a relief to know that her murderer's lies counted for nothing in the eyes of the jury and that the jury delivered a unanimous guilty verdict within a short space of time. I know there's a lot of anger that the murderer still has name suppression for legal reasons — people feel it's unfair that Grace's name was everywhere while his identity remains hidden. His identity is irrelevant.
He's a pathological liar, a narcissist, a has-been who never was, who has only come to public attention because he chose to take the life of a beautiful, talented young woman who had the confidence to travel the world alone.
She was the sort of girl anyone would be proud to call their daughter.
Kerre McIvor Mornings, Newstalk ZB, weekdays 9am-noon.