“You walked into our lives and destroyed Grace in pursuit of your own sexual gratification,” Gillian told the murderer.
“The terror and pain she must have experienced at your hands. As a mother, I would have done anything to swap places with her.”
The murderer, in the dock, put his head in his hands at points in Gillian’s emotional statement and appeared to cry.
Courtroom 11 at the High Court of Auckland was packed with media and members of the public as the sentencing was read out. Justice Simon Moore said he would not give any discounts to the killer, describing his behaviour as “depraved and callous”.
Millane’s brother Declan said his sister, who graduated from university with a degree in advertising, was a “beautiful soul who had the drive and passion to set the world alight”.
“You’ve ripped our family apart and for what? There is no reason behind this unspeakable act,” he told the killer.
Justice Moore said he had read dozens more victim impact statements from Millane’s friends, mainly female. A recurring theme was that they no longer felt safe dating men, he said.