The man who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane has been sentenced to life in prison with a minimum period of 17 years, following moving statements from Millane's family about the pain they have suffered.

The now 28-year-old killer, who still cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty and convicted of murder last November for strangling Millane to death in an Auckland hotel room.

His sentencing at the High Court in Auckland this morning started with Millane's family remembering her beautiful smile, which could "light up a room".

Focus Live: Served with a life sentence in prison with a minimum period of 17 years, NZ Herald court reporter Sam Hurley explains what's next for the killer.

Millane's mum Gillian said her kind and intelligent daughter's dream to travel the world had turned into a nightmare that ripped the family apart.

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"She died terrified and alone in a room with you ... all her dreams and aspirations taken," Gillian Millane said in a victim impact statement.

Justice Simon Moore said this was not a case where the strangulation was driven by rage or was premeditated.

But Millane was vulnerable and appeared to be restrained, while the 28-year-old killer's actions in photographing her naked body after the murder were "depraved".

"You were in a position of total physical dominance," the judge told the killer.

"You were a stranger, she trusted you."

The sentencing marked a dramatic final day in court for a case that has garnered global media headlines.

Millane, who had been travelling the world, met her killer on dating app Tinder before they shared drinks at a few bars on the eve of her 22nd birthday in December 2018.

CCTV showed the pair appeared to be enjoying each others' company as they returned to his small downtown Auckland apartment.

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The university graduate would never leave the room alive - her body later found dumped in a shallow grave in the Waitākere Ranges.

After hearing from nearly 40 witnesses during the highly charged and emotional trial, the jury's decision was unanimous.

Grace Millane's mother Gillian Millane told of her never ending tears for her daughter during a victim impact statement today. Photo / Dean Purcell
Grace Millane's mother Gillian Millane told of her never ending tears for her daughter during a victim impact statement today. Photo / Dean Purcell

Some jurors broke down and sobbed as they left the courtroom after delivering their guilty verdict.

They heard how the killer strangled Millane to death in his CityLife hotel room and then took "trophy" photos of her body.

He "eroticised her death because of his morbid sexual interest", Auckland's Crown Solicitor Brian Dickey told them.

Police collected six terabytes of CCTV footage to track the killer's movements across Auckland before and after he killed Millane.

Focus: Grace Millane's family read their victim impact statements. Video / Chris Tarpey

His internet search history, expert witnesses and those who knew the murderer's inclination to dominate women were also canvassed during the trial.

The killer's defence, led by barrister Ian Brookie, used expert evidence and those who knew Millane to argue it was an accidental death during erotic asphyxiation.

Brookie said his client had "freaked out" before later lying to police and trying cover up the homicide.

Justice Simon Moore during today's sentencing. Photo / Dean Purcell
Justice Simon Moore during today's sentencing. Photo / Dean Purcell

Justice Moore today said he accepted that at some point the killer "and Miss Millane must have discussed BDSM practices".

But the jury's verdict had rejected the killer's continued insistence Millane's death was "some terrible accident".

The judge said it was common ground that at some point during Millane's stangulation she would have lost consciousness, but it remains uncertain exactly when.

"We do not know if Miss Millane struggled, she most likely did," Justice Moore said.

He said the jury by its verdict was satisfied that the killer was at least "reckless" as to whether Millane died or not when he had his hands around her neck.

The killer's photographs of Millane's naked body were rightly described as "depraved", Justice Moore said

These were not the actions of someone panicking but rather underscored the total lack of empathy and the objectification of Millane, he said.

"I accept that you had a volatile upbringing, and that may well have influenced the person you are today," Justice Moore told the killer.

Yet he could find "no factors" shifting the killer's culpability.

He said the killer will be referred to a psychologist while serving his sentence, but no mental health issues had been diagnosed to date.

During today's sentencing, a bereft Gillian Millane managed to read through her entire statement, despite breaking into a floods of tears.

She said that hearing Grace's lifeless body had been found would haunt her for the rest of her life.

The 28-year-old killer of Grace Millane entered court to be sentenced for the murder of the British backpacker. Photo / Dean Purcell
The 28-year-old killer of Grace Millane entered court to be sentenced for the murder of the British backpacker. Photo / Dean Purcell

"Our home feels empty without Grace ... the tears I've shed are never ending," she said.

"I often find myself talking to her photo, I then cry myself to sleep at night ... how am I meant to get up and get on with my days knowing it's just another day I won't speak to her?"

As Gillian Millane read, Millane's killer sat in the dock - eventually showing emotion and hanging his head.

Victoria Millane, who is married to Millane's oldest brother Michael, told how she and Grace had become "the very best of friends".

She said the murderer "ripped" Millane away and that she suffered terrifying nightmares everyday.

Grace Millane's older brother Declan reading a victim impact statement during his sister's killer's sentencing. Photo / Dean Purcell
Grace Millane's older brother Declan reading a victim impact statement during his sister's killer's sentencing. Photo / Dean Purcell

Millane's other older brother Declan said his sister was a "beautiful soul who had the drive and passion to set the world alight".

"It's tough to carry on life as normal following the destruction of my family," he said.

"This person did not just take Grace's life but he took away a piece of my life as well."

Prosecutor Brian Dickey said the sentence was what he wanted and the Crown was pleased with the result.

Focus: Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks outside the High Court at Auckland following the sentencing of Grace Millane's killer.

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the sentence was a reflection of the gravity of the murder.

"The jury found him guilty, that's the bottom line," Beard said.

He said the Millane family was pleased with the sentence.