The trial for the man accused of murdering Grace Millane begins this week in the High Court at Auckland, New Zealand.

The Wickford backpacker was killed on the weekend of her 22nd birthday, soon after arriving in Auckland as part of a gap year. 

Grace was last seen going into a central Auckland hotel the night of December 1, 2018. 

The 27-year-old man she went to the hotel with has been charged with murder.

Here, The New Zealand Herald looks at who will be in the courtroom each day - and how the trial is likely to play out over the next month or so.


The man accused of murdering Grace Millane has interim name suppression meaning the Herald - and all other media - cannot publish any details that would identify him.

He is a 27-year-old who was living in Auckland at the City Life hotel at the time of the alleged killing.

Police allege he met Millane the weekend of November 30 - just hours after she arrived in Auckland - and killed her on or about December 1 or 2.

Millane would have turned 22 on December 2.


Justice Simon Moore.

Formerly one of the country's top criminal lawyers and a Queens Counsel, Justice Moore was appointed a Judge of the High Court in February 2014.

Before that appointment he held the position of Crown Solicitor for Auckland for many years.

Justice Moore's legal career started in 1980, when he graduated from Auckland University with a bachelor of law degree.


Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey

As Crown Solicitor at Auckland via law firm Meredith Connell, Dickey has more than 24 years'  experience and has conducted major cases in the criminal and civil jurisdictions.

He is perhaps best known for the run of significant finance company cases, which he oversaw and conducted after the collapses in that sector from 2007.

Dickey will be joined by Meredith Connell partner and experienced prosecutor Robin McCoubrey.

McCoubrey was in practice as a barrister in London for seven years before migrating to New Zealand in 2008.

In the UK he worked on predominantly criminal cases, for the prosecution and defence, together with cases in the areas of regulatory and public law.


Ian Brookie

After starting his legal career in 2001 as a solicitor for the large Auckland firm Rudd, Watts & Stone, Brookie moved to Meredith Connell - the office of the Crown Solicitor in Auckland – in 2003.

Brookie prosecuted a large number of cases on behalf of the Crown, police and other government entities.

In 2013, Brookie joined the independent bar and helped establish Sentinel Chambers in Auckland city.

As a barrister, he defends alleged offenders in all courts from district to the highest court in New Zealand, the Supreme Court.

According to his website, no case is too big or too small and he claims to have the "abilities and the connections to achieve good results in any court forum".

Ron Mansfield

Mansfield is arguably one of the country's leading defence lawyers and specialises in everything from criminal cases to serious traffic crimes, sports law, defamation and extradition.

Mansfield has been acting as a criminal litigator for 25 years and is "particularly recognised" as having a speciality in successfully defending clients in drug and serious criminal cases.


Leading the team of police who investigated Millane's disappearance and then, after her body was found, her alleged murder, is Detective Inspector Scott Beard.

Beard is a seasoned and senior officer with more than 30 years' experience behind him.

From early on in the investigation - dubbed Operation Gourami - he fronted the media, giving updates about Millane and what police were doing to find her.

When Millane's father David travelled to New Zealand, Beard met with him and kept him briefed on the case.

Thurrock Gazette:

Heartbroken - dad David Millane was kept abreast of the investigation by detective Ins Scott Beard

He broke the news to David Millane that his daughter's body had been found - and then confirmed the break in the case to media moments later, drawing praise for his humanity and empathy.

Beard has continued to lead the investigation team as they built their case against the accused, and travelled to the UK to support Millane's family at her funeral.

It is understood Beard has spent time with David and Gillian Millane in the days leading up to the trial and will attend most, if not all days in court by their side.


It is understood Millane's parents, David and Gillian Millane, will attend the trial.

When Grace first went missing her father flew out to Auckland to help police.

At the time her mother was undergoing treatment for cancer but is understood to be in good health at the moment.


A jury of 12 men and women were empanelled at 9am (NZ time) on Monday, November 4.

Once they are selected and have chosen a foreperson, the trial will begin.

The trial will start at 10am each day and run until 5pm with morning, luncheon and afternoon adjournments.


In most New Zealand trials, the jury is allowed to go home at the end of each day even if they haven't reached a verdict. They return the following morning to continue their deliberation.

But on rare occasions, the judge might sequester the 12 men and women, meaning they have to stay together until a verdict is reached.

Juries are sequestered only in serious or unusual cases and when that call is made accommodation and necessities are provided.

In New Zealand, the jury must try to reach a unanimous verdict where everyone agrees that the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

If the jury can't reach a unanimous verdict after a reasonable time, Justice Moore may accept a majority verdict.

If the verdict is not guilty, the man charged with Millane's murder will be allowed to leave.

If the verdict is guilty, a date for sentencing will be allocated and he will likely be  remanded in custody until then.

If the jury can't reach a unanimous verdict or a majority verdict, Justice Moore may declare a hung jury and there will be a new trial with a new panel of jurors.