Man Found Guilty Of Murdering British Backpacker Grace Millane
Today, the jury in the trial of Grace Millane ruled a 27-year-old man was guilty of her murder.
The decision was made in the high court of Auckland, New Zealand, after the court rejected claims that Grace had died accidentally, during "rough sex".
As the verdict was announced following five hours of deliberation, Grace's parents were gripping hands before they wept from the gallery, and several jurors also cried.
Meanwhile, the man, who cannot be named to to New Zealand law, showed no emotion as he was handed his fate.
Speaking outside the court, Mr and Mrs Millane said their family had been "ripped apart" by the "barbaric" murder, and that the verdict would be "welcomed by every member of the family and friends of Grace".
They went on to pay tribute to their "beautiful, talented, loving daughter," adding that the ruling "will not reduce the pain and suffering we have had to endure over the past year."
"Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever," her father said.
The trial had been one of the most controversial of its kind, and has sparked an important conversation surrounding the credibility of using 'consensual rough sex,' as an excuse for death by strangulation.
The 22-year-old from Wickford, Essex, was on a round-the-world trip when she died from strangulation in an Auckland apartment last December, where she was in the company of the man, who she had met for a Tinder date.
During the trial, the man chose not to give any evidence, but admitted to putting Grace's lifeless body into a suitcase and burying her in a bushland outside Auckland.
However, he denied murdering her, instead maintaining Grace passed away during consensual rough sex.
Grace's body was found a week after her disappearance, buried still inside the suitcase.
The court heard how, on the night of her murder, the killer "wasn't distressed or concerned" by her passing, but instead set about planning how to dispose of her.
They were also told how he "sexualised" her killing, taking photographs of her dead body and searching for pornography.
Plus, he went even went on a Tinder date with another woman while Grace's body sat in a suitcase in his bedroom.
While hugely controversial, the consensual violence defence has been used in the case of 59 deaths of women since records began.
Of the remaining cases, 16 resulted in manslaughter convictions, two were found not guilty, and in three no charges were brought.
Featured Image Credit: PA/BBC