A man has been found guilty of murdering 22-year-old backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand last year.
The Essex woman’s body was found buried in a suitcase near Auckland around a week after she was reported missing.
She was strangled by a man she went on a date with after matching on the Tinder app.
She spent several hours drinking with the man in central Auckland before returning to his apartment where she was murdered.
It happened either the night before or in the early hours of December 2nd – her 22nd birthday.
A jury this morning unanimously found a 27-year-old New Zealand man guilty of her murder. He will be sentenced in February.
After Grace was reported missing, her father David Millane flew to New Zealand and took part in a week of searches before her body was found buried in a suitcase in the Waitakere Ranges, outside Auckland.
The killer - who was described as a "sociopath" during the trial - remained impassive before he was led away to the cells.
He was then brought back to the dock, wearing a dark suit and black open-necked shirt, to be told by Judge Simon Moore that he would be sentenced next year.
Grace's mother Gill broke into silent sobs as the verdict was read out.
Mr Millane told reporters: “The verdict of murder today will be welcomed by every member of the Millane family and friends of Grace.
“It will not reduce the pain and the suffering we have had to endure over the past year.
“Grace was taken away from us in the most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives have been ripped apart.
“This will be with us for the rest of our lives. Grace was a beautiful, talented, loving daughter.
“Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever.
“She did not deserve to be murdered in such a barbaric way during her gap year.”
The trial heard Grace had been strangled during sex and the killer had taken a series of intimate photographs of her naked body before watching hardcore pornography through the early hours.
Internet searches showed him actively plotting to conceal the murder – while CCTV showed him hiring a car, buying cleaning products, a shovel and a suitcase which he used to remove her body from his hotel room and bury in the woods.
He also arranged another Tinder date for later that day.
Additional reporting from IRN ...