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Man accused of murdering backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand jeered as he appears in court

Man accused of murdering backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand jeered as he appears in courtThe man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane was jeered as he appeared in a packed Auckland court on Monday. Ms Millane, 22, died while travelling in New Zealand and her body was found in bushland on Sunday afternoon, about 30 feet from a highway outside the New Zealand city. The 26-year-old accused, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in a blue boiler suit as he attended Auckland's District Court on Monday morning. Ms Millane, from Essex, was last seen alive entering the CityLife Hotel with the man last Saturday at 9.41pm. The defendant was listed on a charge sheet as residing at the hotel on Queen Street in central Auckland. In his opening remarks Judge Evangelos Thomas addressed members of Millane's family, some of whom were in attendance. Her father, David Millane, arrived in New Zealand last Friday following his daughter's disappearance. Judge Evangelos Thomas speaks as a man accused of Grace Millane's murder appears in court in Auckland Credit: Getty “Your grief must be desperate,” Judge Thomas told the family in court, where every seat was taken by the public and the international and local media. “All of us hope that justice for Grace is fair and swift and ultimately brings you some peace.”  As the defendant was led out of the court, a man at the back of the court yelled out “scumbag”. Judge Thomas rejected an application from the accused's lawyer for his client's name to be suppressed based on fair trial rights. However, the decision was immediately appealed, meaning the accused's name will not be released for at least 20 working days until the appeal is determined. The accused looked at the judge for most of the 90 minutes he was in court, nodding that he understood when spoken to, his eyes only occasionally flicking towards the cameras on the other side of the court. The defendant's next appearance will be in the High Court on January 23. Accused 'was estranged from family' The accused was reportedly estranged from his family after his parents separated, according to his grandfather.  NZ media organisation Stuff reported that the grandfather, who said he'd helped raise him for a period after his parents separated, was struggling to come to terms with what his grandson had been accused of.  “He was a nice kid, but he sort of fell out with everybody, which is what happens with broken-up marriages.”  He was worried about how the allegations would affect the wider family but declined to comment further.  A female relative of the accused told Stuff he'd spent time living in Australia, where his mother lived, but she was unaware he'd returned.  His paternal grandmother told Stuff that while living in Australia the man fathered a daughter but was no longer in a relationship with the mother.  Stuff said the accused's father hadn't spoken to his son for two years, citing: “A difference in opinion on life.” Meanwhile, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became became visibly upset as she apologised to Ms Millane's family at her weekly post-cabinet news conference.  ‘Your daughter should have been safe here’ - PM Jacinda Ardern fighting back tears as she apologies on behalf of NZ for the death of Grace Millane ⁦@NewshubPolitics⁩ pic.twitter.com/WqnsM3IgMm— Tova O'Brien (@TovaOBrien) December 10, 2018 Ms Ardern said she could not imagine the grief that her family would be going through, according to Radio New Zealand.  “Your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn't and I'm sorry for that.” Ardern had told the family through police that the government would offer any assistance it could. Emotional tributes from family Police have yet to reveal how the pair met or the possible motive for the alleged murder. Security footage at the hotel, along with a scene investigation at a room there, confirmed that Ms Millane was dead.   Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body was found near Scenic Drive, which leads through the Waitakere Ranges, a popular parkland west of Auckland. Grace Millane was on a year-long round-the-world trip “This brings the search for Grace to an end,” said Detective Beard, who was visibly emotional delivering the news of the discovery. “It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.” Ms Millane's family have described her as “lovely, outgoing, fun-loving and family-orientated”. Her brother Declan paid public tribute on social media with a series of photographs of Ms Millane smiling, celebrating, graduating and, as a little girl, hugging her sibling. He also wrote the lyrics to the song "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine" underneath pictures of the pair together.   View this post on Instagram ��♥️You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You'll never know, dear, how much I love you Please don't take my sunshine away A post shared by Declan Millane (@declan_millane) on Dec 9, 2018 at 2:16am PST Ms Millane, who completed a degree in advertising and marketing at Lincoln University, was on a yearlong trip and arrived in New Zealand on November 20 after a four-week group tour to Peru. Her family raised concerns after she failed to make contact for several days, including on her 22nd birthday last Sunday. Police received a missing person report on Wednesday and commenced a major search and public campaign that saw dozens of calls made to a helpline. David Millane, Grace’s father, arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning and gave a press conference with police, issuing a moving appeal for help. He was joined on the weekend by another family member. Tributes to Grace Millane are left at the roundabout in Titirangi, at the start of Scenic Drive  in Auckland Credit: Getty Mr Millane, a property developer, said Ms Millane had typically “bombarded” the family with messages and photographs during her travels but suddenly went silent after last Saturday. "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter," he said. "Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time. She's usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media. "We are all extremely upset and it's very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through." Police took the 26-year-old man into custody several days ago and have charged him with murder.  Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks at the scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane was found Credit: Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images Detective Beard said the investigation will continue and searches were still underway at the hotel. He would not comment on whether the pair met on the dating app Tinder. "The focus now is to piece together exactly what happened to a young woman who came to New Zealand on her [overseas experience]," he said. Appeal for information Ms Millane’s body was allegedly transported to the parkland in a red Toyota Corolla hatchback that was rented from a central Auckland firm last Sunday. Police released two photos of the car, which was found in the central North Island town of Taupo, and were appealing for anyone who had seen the vehicle on the morning of Monday, December 3, near the area where the body was found. Expressing condolences to Mr Millane and the family, Detective Beard said: "Any father in this situation is going to struggle. We are putting a lot of support around him. I feel for him, I have a daughter in her twenties.” A 2016 red Toyota Corolla hire car that police are analysing as part of a probe into the death of Grace Millane Credit: PA The case has sent shockwaves across New Zealand, where people expressed outrage and some on social media described the case as a “national shame”. It has also raised concerns about violence towards women in the country. Justin Lester, the mayor of Wellington, the capital, said the case was a "horrible and tragic nightmare". "Our girls should be safe to travel and go out and our men should be looking after and protecting them, not causing harm," he said on Twitter.


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