Grace, 22-year-old, from Wickford, Essex, disappeared after going on a date with a 27-year-old suspect in Auckland, New Zealand, on December 1 previous year.
Her body was later discovered inside a suitcase in the woods outside the town. Forensic expert Dr Simon Stables today announced a murder trial of Grace had died from suffocation with a deep internal swelling on her neck.
The suspect refuses murder and says Grace died unintentionally during physical relations after she asked him to strangle her.
Explaining the circumstances of death as “pressure to the neck”, Dr Simon Stables stated it would require to have been supported for 4 or 5 minutes.
Dr. Simon Stables told the judges: “It’s not going to follow with a gentle pressure. It’s got to be with some power. It needs quite a bit of force.”
Dr Simon Stables continued that other injuries on her body were “regular with some level of violence“.
The court had initially apprehended from a student who went on a date with the suspect 9 days prior to Grace’s departure. The woman, who cannot be named, told the court he had misrepresented to her that he was dying of cancer and alleged to be a relative of a New Zealand rugby star.
She claims the suspect then tried to strangle her as she performed physically assault on her after proceeding back to his apartment with him.
She stated: “I didn’t consider a bit the suspect said to her.
“A person who nearly murdered someone by strangling them, then to pretend to be in pain to make me consider reassurance to get me to stay.
“There’s a terminology for that – a sociopath.”
Defending Lawyer, Ron Mansfield said the court the lady had traded numerous text messages with the suspect after the date and declared she had produced up parts of her testimony.
Ron Mansfield stated “You’re attempting to turn this confrontation into something quite distinctive. You desired to draw him in the worst possible light. You desired to describe yourself as a bit of a victim.”
The trial is still on-going.