Man accused of Grace Millane murder described as a lying sociopath in court ...

Murdered British backpacker Grace Millane was held down with force and strangled for up to five minutes on the night she died, a court heard today.  

Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Stables said a deep internal bruise on the 22-year-old's neck and others on her chest and arms suggest she was pinned down with considerable force. 

He told jurors at Auckland's High Court her alleged killer's claims that she died during consensual 'rough' sex were the first of their kind he had come across in New Zealand. 

Dr Stables said: 'From my point of view it is incredibly rare. I have never heard of another case.... in New Zealand.'  

He rejected the idea the injury was a 'love bite', as claimed by the defendant's legal team.  

The defendant, 27, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says Grace, from Wickford, Essex, died accidentally after she asked him to choke her during a Tinder date at his apartment last December.

Dr Simons gave cause of death as 'pressure to the neck', explaining it would need to be sustained with immense pressure for four to five minutes. 

The defendant, 27, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is pictured flanked by corrections officers during the opening of the trial in Auckland, New Zealand last week

The defendant, 27, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is pictured flanked by corrections officers during the opening of the trial in Auckland, New Zealand last week 

The Millanes: (L-R) father David, brother Michael, mother Gillian, brother Declan and Grace

The Millanes: (L-R) father David, brother Michael, mother Gillian, brother Declan and Grace

Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Stables demonstrates how he claims Grace was strangled

Forensic pathologist Dr Simon Stables demonstrates how he claims Grace was strangled 

Dr Stables said a deep internal bruise on the 22-year-old's neck and others on her chest and arms suggest she was pinned down with considerable force

Dr Stables said a deep internal bruise on the 22-year-old's neck and others on her chest and arms suggest she was pinned down with considerable force

He rejected the idea the injury was a 'love bite', as claimed by the defendant's legal team

He rejected the idea the injury was a 'love bite', as claimed by the defendant's legal team

He said: 'It's not going to happen with a gentle touch,' he told the jury. 'It's got to be with some force. It takes quite a bit of effort.'

The bruise was deep inside the neck, he added, and invisible on the surface, suggesting it happened at the time of death.

Other, blue bruises on her torso, he said, were 'consistent with some level of restraint.'

Rejecting the love bite claim by the defendant's barrister Ian Brookie, he replied: 'It doesn't resemble one I've seen in my experience. 

But he did agree that some of the bruising on her arms could be the result of 'consensual but physical sex'.

Watched by Grace's tearful mother and father in the public gallery, Dr Stables showed Auckland High Court a series of photographs from a post mortem he carried out in December last hear after her body was found crammed into a suitcase buried in dense woodland.

Despite the effects of a week of decomposition before her body was found by tracking the accused's cellphone, Dr Stables he had no doubt about the bruise, about six centimetres by three below the lefty side of Grace's jaw, being caused before death.

'I think it is not a post mortem change, it is a real injury,' he said.

Ms Millane's body was found in a wooded area near Auckland a week after she was last seen at a hotel in Auckland city centre, a court heard

Ms Millane's body was found in a wooded area near Auckland a week after she was last seen at a hotel in Auckland city centre, a court heard

Dr Stables said that obstructing the blood flow or the airways in the neck to cause death by cutting oxygen to the brain would require between two and five kilograms of pressure.

And he added: 'A 22-year-old woman with no medical history, I wouldn't expect to bruise easily.'

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