Police had obtained dozens of hours of footage and found Millane, 22, and the 27-year-old accused had spent the evening of December 1 last year at several bars and restaurants in downtown Auckland.
Police had obtained dozens of hours of footage and found Millane, 22, and the 27-year-old accused had spent the evening of December 1 last year at several bars and restaurants in downtown Auckland.

CCTV shows Grace Millane’s final date with accused killer

The jury for the man accused of murdering Grace Millane has spent the day watching CCTV footage of the pair - and possibly the last moments of the British backpacker's life.

Police had obtained dozens of hours of footage and found Millane, 22, and the 27-year-old accused had spent the evening of December 1 last year at several bars and restaurants in downtown Auckland.

Video also shows them taking the lift to the accused's apartment in the CityLife hotel - the last images of Millane alive, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Millane had arrived in Auckland on November 20 as part of a year-long solo OE.

She met the accused after matching on the dating app Tinder.

Grace Millane’s final moments were caught on CCTV.
Grace Millane’s final moments were caught on CCTV.

 

The Crown alleges that on the night of December 1, the accused strangled Millane to death in his central city apartment.

The accused, who has interim name suppression, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Millane.

He admits being with her when she died and disposing of her body in the Waitakere Ranges, but claims he did not intentionally harm the young Brit.

Millane's parents David and Gillian were in court today, flanked by police staff as the jury watch their daughter's last movements.

CCTV footage outlines where both Millane and her alleged killer were before her death.

TIMELINE OF THE NIGHT

At 5.11pm on December 1, the accused went to the Bluestone Room bar and purchased four beers - two Heineken's at 5.14pm and another two at 5.29pm.

Police obtained the receipts for the beers, which the accused is seen drinking at an outside table.

At 5.37pm, Millane is seen leaving the Base Backpackers and heading along Federal Street.

At 5.40pm, the accused left the Bluestone Room.

Just before 5.45pm, Millane was captured on camera soon after at SkyCity near a large Christmas tree using her phone.

The last message to her family, sent about then, included a photo of the tree.

At about 5.45pm, the accused and Millane can be seen meeting for the first time, near where she was photographing the tree.

 

The pair met for the first time just before 6pm.
The pair met for the first time just before 6pm.

The day was rainy and the paving around SkyCity was slick with groundwater.

The pair greet each other and walk into SkyCity, heading up an escalator to level one to Andy's Burger Bar.

Millane, dressed in a black dress and white trainers, appears happy and relaxed in the accused's company.

The pair are seen talking as they make their way through SkyCity and enter the first bar at 5.47pm.

They walk to the bar and Millane grabs a menu and passed it to the accused and they peruse the menu and move away to choose a table to sit at.

They leave Andy's at 7.12pm, an hour and 25 minutes after they arrived.

Millane and the accused walk towards Victoria St West and past the SkyCity Christmas tree.

This may have been some of Millane’s last moments.
This may have been some of Millane’s last moments.

 

The accused and Millane at the Mexican Cafe on Victoria St West.
The accused and Millane at the Mexican Cafe on Victoria St West.

A camera shows them seemingly joking with each other, laughing and smiling.

They then cross the street and head to the Mexican Cafe at 7.16pm.

A little over an hour later, at 8.24pm, the accused pays for the pair's drinks - two jugs of margarita and one of sangria - with a bank card.

Standing closely to his left is Millane.

Millane can also be seen talking to a Mexican Cafe staffer briefly before the pair leave.

A south-facing camera captures the pair again at about 8.27pm on Albert and Kingston streets.

The black and white footage shows the pair crossing Albert St East before walking north towards the camera.

At 8.28pm, Millane and the accused walk down Durham St West - the street which has an entrance to the CityLife hotel and is just metres from Durham Lane where the Bluestone Room is.

A camera in the entrance way to the Bluestone Room shows the accused and Millane joking with a worker, and drinking while sitting on a couple of bar stools at about 8.41pm.

The same camera shows them leaning across the table to kiss each other.

The pair continue to kiss and laugh with each other.

The accused and Millane appear to kiss at one point in the footage.
The accused and Millane appear to kiss at one point in the footage.

 

The accused leans over the table ad puts his arm around Millane's neck as they kiss, drawing her closer to him.

At about 8.50pm, the accused and Millane kiss again - it is about three hours after they had first met.

As the footage was played in court Millane's parents watched silently from the public gallery.

The accused sat in the dock with his head down for much of the evidence, but did glance up to watch footage of him kissing Millane and at several other points.

At about 8.56pm, footage shows the accused getting up from his seat and kissing kisses Millane before bumping into another patron.

He left the table for about five minutes and while he was gone Millane began to use her phone as she waited for the accused to return.

 

LAST SIGHTING

Several moments after the accused leaves the table, Millane can be seen looking around the pub, seemingly in search of the accused and anticipating his return.

At about 9.01pm the accused returns and the pair each clink shot glasses of alcohol - tequila again - before drinking it.

By 9.10pm the pair appear to be very comfortable in each other's company and continue to kiss and Millane then leaves the table at 9.20pm and enters main room of the pub - possibly to use the bathroom.

The accused initially waits and uses his phone but then picks up Millane's handbag and appears to go through it, looking at items inside.

The pair were caught on camera together at various points throughout the date.
The pair were caught on camera together at various points throughout the date.

After rummaging through her bag, however, he puts it back in a different place than where it was left - on the stool rather than the table - but Millane doesn't notice when she returns.

The accused later stands and begins kissing Millane - at one point she appears to push her finger against his lips.

The two then leave the Bluestone Room - after drinking beer, cider and shots.

At 9.40pm the pair make the short walk to the CityLife hotel where the accused lived.

The accused has his arm around Millane's shoulders.

In what may have been some of Millane's last moments, she enters the hotel lift to the third floor.

 

CHILLING FINAL MESSAGE

A statement from one of Millane's university friends has been read to the court and reveals what may have been the final messages the backpacker sent before she died.

Millane had been messaging Ameena Ashcroft throughout her travels, but on December 1 said: "I'm on a date with a guy who is a manager of an oil company."

Ashcroft said she recalled feeling "a bit concerned" and that "something seemed out of place".

In a series of quick Facebook messages Millane also said: "Cocktails all round" and "he was like 'it's (my) birthday tomorrow, we are getting smashed'."

Ashcroft thought the messages were odd and that the man was doing "a weird thing … with someone you don't really know".

Footage shown in court of the date Grace Millane went on with the 27 year old accused of murdering her.
Footage shown in court of the date Grace Millane went on with the 27 year old accused of murdering her.

Millane sent further messages to Ashcroft, including about where the accused lived.

"You will find your lama - mate he lives in a hotel," Millane said.

Ashcroft said she knew Millane was drunk, while the lama reference was about finding the person for you.

Further messages about the accused from Millane read: "I click with him so well" and "I will let you know what happens tomorrow."

But a message the next day never came.

Ashcroft said generally Millane wouldn't have sex with someone unless she felt "quite trusting and happy" around them.

"It's an intimate thing for Grace to sleep with someone," she said.

Detectives investigating Millane's death also asked Ashcroft if Millane had talked before about using props during sex.

Ashcroft said Millane hadn't.

 

Millane was last seen entering a hotel with the accused.
Millane was last seen entering a hotel with the accused.

Receipts show Millane and the accused purchased nine cocktails and Jose Cuervo-brand tequila during the evening.

Detective Adam Bicknell has explained to the jury how the CCTV was collected from various points around the city during the investigation into Millane's disappearance.

CityLife hotel, for example, had 14 cameras that record 24 hours a day.

Police retrieved six days' worth of images from the hotel in their bid to trace Millane's last hours as part of the investigation dubbed Operation Gourami.

The pair were seen together at a burger restaurant in SkyCity, Mexican Cafe on Victoria Street, the Bluestone Room bar next to CityLife and the hotel itself.

The last sighting of Millane alive was via CCTV as she entered the hotel with the accused.

The jury will also view footage of Millane and the accused separately - her before meeting him for their fatal date and him in the hours and days after he allegedly murdered her.

This article originally appeared on the NZ Herald and is republished with permission