Warning: Contains graphic and sexual content.

The man accused of Grace Millane's murder provided a false alibi to police and when he realised he was a suspect asked why he was being "arrested for something I didn't do?"

The jury spent this morning watching the accused's interview with police, which included several lies including a claim that he and Millane had parted company at 10pm on the night she died.

Crown prosecutors allege that on the night of December 1 last year - the eve of Millane's 22nd birthday - the accused, 27, strangled the young Brit to death in his central city apartment after the pair spent the night drinking.


He then stuffed Millane's body into a suitcase and dumped it in a shallow grave amongst some bush in Auckland's Waitākere Ranges.

While not under arrest at the time, the accused was interviewed by Detective Ewen Settle on December 6 as a person of interest.

The accused during his police interview with Detective Ewen Settle.
The accused during his police interview with Detective Ewen Settle.

The Herald brings you the latest updates from the courtroom today:


At about 9.27pm on December 2, the accused can be seen on CCTV using a luggage trolley in the CityLife hotel.

After bringing the trolley to his room, he leaves with it carrying two suitcases and a black sports bag.

Millane's parents, seated in the back of the courtroom, began to cry as they watched the accused move the suitcase which contained their daughter's body.

The accused is then seen parking the car with the bags in a nearby carpark, before he again returns to a supermarket and buys gloves and carpet stain remover.


At 6.14am the next day he returns to his hire car.

During his journey, however, he stops at an ITM hardware store and buys a red shovel just before 7am with cash.

The accused returns to the CityLife hotel in the rental car at about 9.30am.


Later on the Sunday afternoon the accused went on another date - this time meeting a woman at the Revelry bar in Ponsonby.

He leaves the bar at 5.25pm, having spent and hour and a half there.

The accused at the Revelry bar on December 2.
The accused at the Revelry bar on December 2.

After returning to his apartment, he leaves for the Countdown supermarket on Quay St before returning to the CityLife hotel soon after at 7.45pm.

But at 8.11pm the accused goes back to the same supermarket and hires a Rug Doctor machine overnight.


The jury is now watching the accused's movements on the morning of December 2 - almost all of which was captured on CCTV.

At just after 8am he leaves the CityLife hotel and walks to The Warehouse on Elliot St in central Auckland.

While there he buys a large suitcase before returning to the hotel at 8.14am.

But shortly after he leaves his apartment again and walks to a nearby Countdown supermarket.

The accused was filmed at a Countdown supermarket buying cleaning products.
The accused was filmed at a Countdown supermarket buying cleaning products.

There he buys several items, including Janola power cleaner, a twin pack of small gloves, and a packet of gum.

He paid for all the items in cash before returning to the hotel at 8.40am.

Nearly a couple of hours pass before the accused is back in the lift in his hotel.

This time he walks towards Queen St and catches a taxi at about 10.33am.

While in the back of the cab he can be seen using his phone and smiling.

He then pays with his credit card after arriving at an Apex car rental shop at 10.42am.

The accused hires the small red car for one day.

(The jury are watching the police interview with the accused).

After Detective Settle left the interview room and later returned the conversation with the accused took a darker turn.

"It's entirely possible that she's been a victim of foul play, do you know what that means?" Settle asked the accused, referring to Millane.

He asked the accused for a voluntary DNA sample.

"Yep, 100 per cent, I haven't done anything wrong," the accused said.

Settle said: "It's possible that someone has killed her ... We don't know if she's been murdered or not, we don't know yet, she could be found, but she could be dead.

"And it could be that you've done it."

Settle then left the room again briefly.

The accused knocked on the door and asked: 'I just wanted to ask a question, have I been arrested for something I didn't do?"

"Holy sh*t," he can be heard saying.

Police informed him he was not under arrest before Settle returned and said: "We're just going to hold off on that DNA thing for the time being."

But the detective added: "We've reached a point where we need to advise you of your rights."

The accused during the police interview.
The accused during the police interview.

After doing so, Settle then slid another CCTV image across the table.

"Is that you?" he said, pointing at the accused in the image.

"Yes," the alleged killer said.

"That picture is in your hotel ... That's on Sunday morning at eight o'clock in the morning," Settle said.

"I'm sure that was 10 o'clock, I'm still sure of it," the accused replied.

A long pause then followed before the accused said: "Is there something you want to ask?"

"That's you walking in with a suitcase at 8.14am," Settle said.

The accused quipped: "I've still got that suitcase too."

"Where is it?" Settle said.

"In my room."

The suspicious detective asked him to explain his story.

"I might have got the times wrong," the accused said.

"If you're assuming that I've used that suitcase for something, then I've still got it and you can have it."

Settle said: "You haven't told the truth about being completely drunk on Saturday night .. This is quite important."

The accused replied: "I'm being truthfully honest with you."

Settle's questions then became more pointed.

"Where were you that night?"

"I've told you," the accused said. "That bag is still in my room."

"What's in it?" Settle asks.


"Where did it come from?"

The accused said he bought it from the Warehouse in downtown Auckland.

"So wait a minute, now you're saying that you went to the Warehouse in the atrium?" Settle said.

"Now that you show me that, yeah," the accused said.

Grace Millane murder trial: Alleged killer lies to police about whereabouts. Video / Chris Tarpey


On the Thursday night, November 29, the accused said he got blind drunk at a work function and ended up sleeping outside.

"I ended up sleeping outside the hotel and the concierge helped me upstairs," he told Detective Settle.

"I tend to drink and somehow end up in bed ... I don't know how I ended up in bed that night.

"One of the Indian concierges said he helped me up to my room."

The accused added the reason he had a lot of cash on him was after the work function he intended to catch a taxi, but later caught at tuk tuk.

The alleged killer said on the night of December 1 he was again blind drunk and may have been aided to his bed again by hotel staff.

He said he woke at about 9am or 10am in his apartment.

"How did you feel?" Settle asked.

"I had a bit of a vomit, I knew I mixed drinks because I felt crap."

The accused said he then went and had a steak at a pub in downtown Auckland before meeting a friend later in the day in Ponsonby.

He said he ate a scotch fillet - specifically it was medium rare with mushrooms, chips and salad.

"So you think you were carried in again on Saturday night?" Settle asked.

"Yeah," the accused said. "I have a feeling.

"I don't know why I do it maybe because I saw it as a kid, my Dad drinking until he dropped, so I've carried it on.

"During the weekend I tend to go crazy and just drink ... I drink to a stupid state."

The accused said he had been "done" for drunk and disorderly in Papakura and Sydney.

"I woke up in a bush with a police officer asking how I am and how I'm doing."

Grace Millane murder trial: CCTV shows alleged killer going through Millane's handbag. Video / Chris Tarpey


In the videotaped interview Detective Ewen Settle asked the accused to return to the sports bar he claimed to have visited on Queen St after meeting Millane.

"Can you describe that pub to us again?" the detective asked.

"It had only Lion products on tap. I asked for a Corona, they said they didn't do that. I asked for a Heineken and they said they didn't do that. I had to have a Tui.

"It was pretty old and dusty place."

Settle asked who the accused was socialising with.

"Whole lots of people, it was usually the people who were smoking outside," the alleged killer replied.

He then said he drank 10 beers at the pub over about two hours.

Settle wanted to know how he paid for the brews.

"I had cash," the accused said. "And low and behold the cash went pretty quickly."

Settle said: "So you were not using your card in that place, you were using cash?"

"Yep," the accused replied.

"Any particular reason you used just cash?"

"I had cash on me, I don't normally have cash," the accused said, adding he spent between $150 to $300.

Settle asked: "How do you handle your alcohol?"

"I know I definitely started singing that night ... Beer I can drink it until the cows come home.

"I was definitely having water that night too."


The jury is watching more of the accused's interview with police.

As Detective Ewen Settle continued his questioning the accused said he woke on December 2 to find Millane had unmatched him on the dating app Tinder after the pair had made plans for the day.

"I thought ahh, what's going on here? I must've done the wrong thing."

Settle asked: "How did the evening coming to an end?"

The accused replied: "There was a hug, a kiss on the cheek and a nice meeting you ... "I said 'let me know about tomorrow'."

The detective then asked him to identify where on a map the accused last saw Millane.

"I didn't," the accused replied. "I know it sounds bad, but I started talking to a group of people ... I started talking to a group of Chinese travellers. They were walking across the road."

Settle seemed perplexed.

"Okay, you just started talking to a bunch of tourists?"

"Yeah," the accused said.

Accused claimed Grace date ended at 10pm

The accused's conversation with Settle was recorded on video and played in part to the jury yesterday afternoon.

The court heard the accused, who is originally from Wellington and lived in Australia for several years, matched with Millane on the dating app Tinder on November 30 last year.

The next day they agreed to meet for a drink.

"We met outside [SkyCity] on the front doors, I gave her a hug, she gave me a hug," the accused told Settle.

"We decided that we were going up to Andy's Burger Bar."

The accused, however, said he wasn't sure Millane was going to be a "real" person and feared she may have been a catfish - a type of fake social media identity.

"If I meet at SkyCity ... If it is someone that it's not, I could just walk away," he said.

"On Tinder it's all about the way you look.

"If she wasn't who she said she was at least then in my mind I would be safe."

Grace Millane murder trial: Alleged killer lies to police about whereabouts. Video / Chris Tarpey

Settle later asked the accused a more pointed question: "How did the evening pan out?"

"Umm yeah, pretty good," the accused replied. "We drank a few cocktails and we were having good conversations."

Grace Millane murder trial: Accused feared backpacker was a 'catfish', lied to police about night she died
Grace Millane murder trial: Accused told police he last saw Grace at 10pm
Grace Millane murder trial: Pathologist tells jury backpacker died from 'pressure on the neck'
Grace Millane murder trial: Week one explained

It was at this moment the accused's story began to contradict CCTV footage of him and Millane from the night of December 1.

He said after leaving SkyCity they went their separate ways. Video footage, however, shows he and Millane went to two more establishments before the CityLife hotel where the accused lived.

"I go down Victoria St, straight down to the bottom, and hang a left and head towards the Viaduct," the accused said, explaining what he did after supposedly parting from Millane.

He told Settle he then spent a couple of hours at a sports bar on Queen St.

The accused's room at the CityLife apartment complex in downtown Auckland.
The accused's room at the CityLife apartment complex in downtown Auckland.

However, Settle calmly slid a piece of paper across the table in an interview room at the Auckland central police station.

It was an image from a CCTV camera.

It was of the accused with Millane.

"What time is this?" the detective asked.

The accused paused.

He questioned the photo before replying: "I would say 8.30pm-9pm?"

The jury will watch the rest of the video interview when the trial resumes this morning.

Before the interview, the accused had earlier told another detective he last saw Millane about 10pm on December 1.

The court also heard the accused left a comment underneath a new profile photo on Millane's Facebook page.

"Beautiful, very radiant," it read.

The comment was linked to a name associated with the accused and was made on December 1 at about 9.29pm, the court heard.

Earlier yesterday, the jury heard evidence from forensic pathologist Dr Simon Stables.

He has determined Millane died from "pressure on the neck" - an area of her body which displayed bruising.

For someone to die in this manner, he said, the brain needed to be starved of oxygen for at least four to five minutes.

This injury would normally be a result of pressure over a "sufficient period of time and with sufficient force", Stables said.

"It's not going to happen through a gentle touch of the neck," he explained.