Grace Millane died after being involved in consensual sexual activity including choking, a forensic pathologist who gave evidence on behalf of the man accused of her murder said, according to media reports in New Zealand.
The young woman from Wickford, Essex, went on a date with a 27-year-old man she met on the dating app Tinder in Auckland on December 1, 2018.
The Crown has alleged that the defendant, who cannot be named due to a suppression order, strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her in a forested area outside Auckland.
Florida-based pathologist Dr Fintan Garavan appeared via audio-visual link in Auckland High Court and said there was “no evidence to injuries of deeper haemorrhaging” in Ms Millane’s death, Nine Media’s Stuff website reported.
Radio NZ quoted the doctor as saying a bruise found on Ms Millane’s neck was not located in deep tissue, which along with further bruising on her chest and arms showed the injuries were the result of consensual activity.
“In my expert opinion, if a non-consensual act has taken place the victim is under attack or resisting attack, they struggle.
“It’s that action, the struggle or struggling, between an aggressor and a recipient, that gives rise to such injuries.”
Crown prosecutor Brian Dickey challenged Dr Garavan about whether the pathology report could show the presence or absence of consent, to which Radio NZ said the doctor replied that the absence of other injuries had given him reason to pause.
Dr Garavan also said alcohol could “very well” have been a secondary contributing factor in Ms Millane’s death.
The court earlier heard Ms Millane had profiles on BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance and submission) websites.
The court also heard evidence from a former partner of Ms Millane’s who said the pair practised choking and rough play.
Security footage played earlier in the trial showed Ms Millane and the defendant drinking at a number of bars before kissing repeatedly at the Bluestone Room then walking arm-in-arm a short distance into the lobby of the CityHigh hotel where the defendant was staying.
Ms Millane was shown to follow the defendant out of the lift at 9.41pm.
It was the last time she was seen alive.
The defence is expected to finish presenting its case on Wednesday.