Millane trial: CCTV footage shows date with accused

The defendant and Grace Millane hug when meeting for the first time at the base of the Sky Tower in Auckland

The defendant and Grace Millane hug when meeting for the first time at the base of the Sky Tower in Auckland

With those words Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey began laying out the case against the man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane.

Phone records allegedly showed the defendant had searched online for "the hottest fire", "large bags near me" and "Waitakere Ranges" - where Ms Millane's body was later found contorted inside a suitcase - before going on another Tinder date later that day.

The accused claimed he and Millane, who had met on the dating app Tinder and drank heavily that night, had rough sex in the hotel room before he passed out in the shower.

The Crown argues the accused not only murdered Ms Millane, he then "coldly and methodically" disposed of her body in a shallow grave and cleaned the scene - trying his best to "break any link" between himself and his victim.

Her parents David and Gillian Millane, of Wickford, Essex, watched as prosecutor Robin McCoubrey told Auckland high court: 'Strangling someone to death with your hands isn't inadvertent'.

Detective Adam Bicknell told the jury he had been in charge of tracing Grace and her alleged killer's movements through the city as part of Operation Gourami, the code name for the police investigation into her disappearance.

The late British backpacker Grace Millane.

Cameras at the base of the Sky Tower film Ms Millane walking along Federal Street and stopping at a crowd milling about a festive Christmas display.

Later that day, he placed the body in a suitcase and drove it in a rented vehicle to the Waitakere Ranges where he buried it, according to the jury.

The CCTV footage captured the pair visiting a number of bars around the city before one final clip, filmed inside the lift in the defendant's apartment building.

They walked into SkyCity to Andy's Burgers and Bar on the first floor where they looked at menus and ordered before sitting at a booth.

They left at 7.12pm and walked back out past the Christmas tree towards a Mexican cafe, where they stayed for an hour, sharing two jugs of margaritas and one of sangria.

Ms Millane was shown to follow the defendant out of the lift at 9.41pm.

Later he allegedly took seven intimate photos of Ms Millane.

It was the last time she was seen alive.

Surveillance footage later confirmed the pair kissing earlier than they headed to the person's resort condominium, New Zealand Herald reported.

The prosecutor, a former London barrister, said a pathologist would give evidence later in the trial about how Millane died from sustained pressure to the neck. The court also heard that his body also had bruises on his chest and upper arms.

"These actions were part of sexual activities that they were doing together and they were in no way meant to cause any harm to her", his lawyer Ian Brookie said, the New Zealand Herald reported.

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