After sitting in the High Court at Auckland for three harrowing weeks listening to the brutal facts of how their only daughter died - Grace Millane's parents have returned home to the UK.

David and Gillian Millane left New Zealand at the weekend after travelling here for the trial of the man charged with their child's murder.

The 27-year-old was found guilty by a jury on Friday evening.

He will be sentenced in February.


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It is not yet known if Millane's parents - or her two brothers - will return to New Zealand to attend sentencing.

An interim suppression order remains in place meaning he cannot be identified.

But many people have flouted that, posting the killer's name on various social media platforms.

While the murder trial is over - police are still working on the case, chasing up at least one complaint of a breach of suppression.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard confirmed today that one person is being investigated for publishing the name of the murderer on a website.

At the weekend he issued a statement warning others not to do the same.

"Police have been made aware today that the defendant in the Grace Millane homicide has been named on social media accounts in New Zealand," he said.


"Although the homicide trial concluded yesterday, a suppression order which prevents naming the defendant remains in place and will do so until lifted by the court.

"While we appreciate the public feeling around this case, we do want to remind the public that it is an offence to breach a court order such as a name suppression - this includes naming someone on social media."

Grace Millane's parents David and Gillian speak to the media at the Auckland High Court after the jury delivered a murder verdict. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Grace Millane's parents David and Gillian speak to the media at the Auckland High Court after the jury delivered a murder verdict. Photo / Jason Oxenham

For an individual breaching suppression the maximum penalty is a $25,000 fine or six months in prison.

Millane was murdered in the first weekend of December last year by the man who she met on a Tinder date.

The pair met at SkyCity just before 6pm on December 1 and visited a number of bars in the CBD and consumed multiple drinks.

CCTV showed the pair laughing, chatting, kissing and hugging before going into the CityLife building where the killer lived in a small apartment.

Millane was murdered soon after.

She would have turned 22 on December 2 but it is likely she was dead before then.

The Crown says the 27-year-old strangled Millane to death and then purchased a suitcase, contorted her naked body inside, drove it to the Waitakere Ranges and buried it in a shallow grave.

The man denied the charge of murder but conceded Millane died in his room and he disposed of her body.

He says he panicked and his actions after she died - including Google searches for "hottest fire", Waitākere Ranges, large bags and rigor mortis; watching multiple porn videos; going on another Tinder date and cleaning the scene of death - were the result of shock and fear.

After hearing from more than 30 witnesses the jury of seven women and five men reached a unanimous guilty verdict and the man was convicted of murder.

The penalty for murder in New Zealand is life in prison.

After the verdict was delivered Millane's parents fronted media for the first time during the trial.

"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," David Millane said.

"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.

"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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