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New Zealand jury convicts man of murdering British backpacker

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New Zealand jury convicts man of murdering British backpacker
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Reuters
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A 27-year-old New Zealand man was convicted of murdering a British backpacker after the two went on a Tinder date.

A jury of seven women and five men decided the case in just hours, local media reported.

Grace Millane was travelling in New Zealand after finishing university. She went missing in Auckland in December 2018. Police found her body outside the city.

The man's name has not been revealed by the court. He pleaded not guilty to murder and said that she died accidentally. Millane died of strangulation.

The New Zealand Herald reported that the 27-year-old will be sentenced in February.

The country's prime minister Jacinda Ardern apologised to Millane's family after the tragedy occurred, saying that there was "hurt and shame" among people from New Zealand that this had happened in their country.

Thousands of people in the country held candlelight vigils after the woman's death.

Millane's parents, David and Gillian, arrived at court with New Zealand police inspector Scott Beard who led the investigation.

"The verdict of murder today will be welcomed by every member of the Millane family and friends of Grace. It will not reduce the pain, the suffering that we have had to endure for over the past year. Grace was taken away from us in a most brutal fashion a year ago and our lives have been and family have been ripped apart," Grace's father said outside the court.

"Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever," he added.

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