Essex

Grace Millane: Man denies murdering British backpacker

Grace Millane Image copyright Lucie Blackman Trust
Image caption Miss Millane had been travelling alone in New Zealand

A 27-year-old man has denied murdering British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand.

Miss Millane, 22, from Wickford, Essex, was last seen at a hostel in Auckland on 1 December. Her body was found a week later on the outskirts of the city.

The defendant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in the High Court in Auckland.

He entered a not guilty plea, and a trial date was set for 4 November.

Miss Millane had been travelling alone in New Zealand for two weeks, following a six-week group trip through South America.

Her family became concerned when the University of Lincoln graduate failed to respond to birthday messages on 2 December.

Miss Millane's father flew to New Zealand and was there when police discovered the body of his daughter on 8 December.

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