“Grace has never been just a daughter, she has been my friend, my best friend. We made memories together that I will treasure forever.
“I am tormented for what you have done … the terror and pain that he must have felt in your hands. As a mother, I would have done anything to change places with her. I should have been there. “
TThese heartbreaking words were spoken in a statement on the impact of the victims this week by Gillian Millane, the mother of 22-year-old British backpacker Grace, who was assassinated on a Tinder date in New Zealand in December 2018. The man who killed her has just been sentenced to life in prison, with no probation for 17 years.
Seventeen years – it doesn’t seem enough, does it? The HS2 network would not be completed yet when the insensitive murderer of this young woman, who had strangled her to death and showed little remorse about it, could be released to live the rest of her life – something that will never be able to do.
It’s every parent’s worst nightmare and Grace’s mom and dad endured more than most of us can imagine.
They sat in court in Auckland, day after day, while the most intimate details of her daughter’s personal life – details she will never be able to challenge – were used by the defense to suggest that she had died from “violent sex gone wrong” . That she had been strangled by accident. That by agreeing to eccentric sex, she somehow even allowed her to be killed – which, thank goodness, the jury didn’t buy for a second.