An extensive web of lies made up by the man accused of killing the British backpacker Grace Millane collapsed when he was confronted with a photo of himself entering his hotel with a suitcase, a court heard today.
Video footage of the suspect's first police interview was played today before a jury at the Auckland Supreme Court in New Zealand.
It showed that he tried to convince the police for more than an hour that he had started drinking with friends after his Tinder date with Grace, 22, from Wickford, Essex, ended in December 2018.
But he had to admit that he lied after detectives handed him a CCTV in which he still entered the hotel where Grace died with a suitcase.
Her naked body was later found in the suitcase by detectives in a wooded area outside of Auckland.
Jury members were also shown the shocking moment when the police found the suitcase when images of the muddy bag were presented to them.
A video of the interview with the alleged murderer (left) with the police was played today for jury members at the Auckland Supreme Court in New Zealand
Grace Millane (pictured on her graduation day from the University of Lincoln) disappeared during the early hours of her 22nd birthday during a trip around the world in New Zealand. Her body was later found in a suitcase in the forest near the city
CCTV still shows the defendant with the suitcase at the CityLife hotel in Auckland, New Zealand
Shocking photos played before the jury today reveal the moment when the police discovered the body of the murdered British backpacker Grace Millane in a suitcase in the woods
For over an hour, the 27-year-old gave a bill full of details about how he said he'd spent the night of his Tinder date five days earlier with Grace.
With a photo of the young college student who was subsequently treated as a missing person on the table in front of him, he said he had said goodbye to Grace with a hug and a kiss on the cheek hoping her the next day to celebrate her 22nd birthday.
Then he told Detective Sergeant Ewen Settle that he had come to meet a colleague from work, but eventually drank himself in a stupor in a cafe and woke up the next day in his apartment in the belief that he had been taken by the caretaker.
He was a heavy drinker on the weekend, he said, when he tended to go crazy & # 39; and after sharing cocktails with Grace, he went to a bar and had 10 glasses of Tui – drank beer, paid cash, and treated 20 other people to drink.
He said he woke up the next morning, & # 39; a little vomit & # 39; had looked at his phone and saw it was 10 o'clock.
Forensic investigators show the area where the suitcase with Grace's body was buried
Coffin: Grace & # 39; s body later emerged from this suitcase, surrounded by police equipment
It was originally covered with branches and other foil in the forest near Auckland
He had tried to text Grace on Tinder the next day, but she had not matched him.
Later that morning, he went for & # 39; a scotch fillet, medium rare, with mushrooms, chips, and salad & # 39; for breakfast before taking a nap and meeting a friend from work, he told DS Settle.
The detective told him that the search for Grace, whose parents had missing her the previous day, was underway and he asked if the alleged murderer would give a voluntary DNA sample. & # 39; 100 percent, & # 39; said the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
& # 39; I know I didn't do anything wrong, so I'm glad I can do it. & # 39; & # 39; We are very, very concerned about her safety, & # 39; said DS Settle.
& # 39; She may be dead and you may have done it. & # 39;
The suspect (pictured left during his first police interview) told officers that he and Grace Millane broke up after their date when they actually returned to his apartment
However, the jury of seven women and five men watched, because instead of continuing with the DNA sample, DS Settle told him a few minutes later: & # 39; We have reached a point where we need to advise you about your rights & # 39;
He showed the man a photo of him who entered the CityLife hotel, where he lived, on a Sunday at 8.15 am with a suitcase he had bought that morning and told him: & You have not told the truth. You lied. & # 39;
The man said: & I am honest with you, I still have that bag in my room.
& # 39; I may have had the time wrong, but if you assume I used that case for something, I still have it in my room and you can have it.
& # 39; It came from The Warehouse (a retail chain). I bought it that day because I had to get all the stuff from my room. & # 39;
The man said he had to remove all his blankets and pillows and belongings.
Grace & # 39; s body was found in a wooded area near Auckland a week after she was last seen in a city center hotel, a court heard
In fact, the trial has heard that he used the suitcase to take Grace & # 39; s body in a rental car to a remote, dense forest, where he buried it early in a shallow grave on Monday morning.
The crown says he bought a second, identical suitcase that was left in his room at CityLife.
He is accused of strangling Grace from Wickford in Essex during sex before watching a series of hardcore porn videos on his mobile phone.
The man says she died accidentally after asking him to choke her during sex to increase her pleasure.
After recording the interview with the man, the jury saw CCTV recordings that showed him on Sunday morning that he had bought the suitcase, cleaned equipment and went to another Tinder date on Sunday afternoon while Grace was dead at CityLife.
Her body was discovered a week after her death when the police followed the man's mobile movements. He denies murder. The process continues.
The Millanes: (L-R) father David, brother Michael, mother Gillian, brother Declan and Grace, who died last December in Auckland, New Zealand
. (tagsToTranslate) dailymail (t) news (t) New Zealand