THE chilling Tinder messages sent to Brit backpacker Grace Millane by her murderer hours before he killed her have been revealed for the first time.
Grace, 21, a marketing graduate from Essex, died on a Tinder date in Auckland when she was strangled during sex.
The 27-year-old killer – who cannot be named – will be sentenced on February 21 when the judge will decide whether he can be identified. He faces life imprisonment.
The Tinder messages show the killer was the one pushing for a date with the 21-year-old, who appeared hesitant when they first started to chat.
On the night of December 1 last year, he messaged her saying: “Hey Grace how are you?? Much planned for the weekend?”
She responded after a couple of minutes, writing: “Hey. I’m good thank and it’s actually my birthday tomorrow but I have no plans.”
He replied quickly saying: “Oh s*** happy birthday for tomorrow…much planned for this evening then?”
She wrote back: “Haha thank you, I haven’t.”
Pushing her, the killer then suggested getting a drink and Grace replied “yeah maybe”.
To that, he wrote: “Maybe yes??”
Grace replied: “Convince me”.
The murderer then said “hahaha well my shout haha” and then said “I will buy the drinks my shout”.
He suggested a “cool Mexican place up near SkyCity” that does “great cocktails”.
The killer then said: “Okay, there’s a few places up there that do great cocktails, how about we meet at SkyCity?”
Appearing a little reluctant, Grace said: “I haven’t said yes yet?”
But the killer kept pushing and wrote: “You haven’t said no either. So what’s it gonna take to make this happen then? Would be nice”.
Grace told him she only had casual clothes and he said that was “fine”.
After exchanging messages at 3am, CCTV footage showed the pair meeting near the Sky Tower at about 5.45pm – minutes after Millane sent a photo of the SkyCity Christmas tree to her family.
That was the last message they ever received from her.
After meeting up, the pair toured several bars and drank cocktails before returning to the killer’s apartment.
Her killer strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her in a forested area outside Auckland.
He then went on another Tinder date while Grace’s body lay on the floor of his room.
She was assumed missing, and her dad flew to New Zealand as local authorities spent a week searching for her body until the discovery was made.
The killer was snared when cops spotted a post on Grace’s Facebook timeline from the night she disappeared from him describing her as “beautiful”.
Jurors rejected the defence claim the death was accidental and occurred during rough sex.
The messages came as it was revealed Grace’s family would receive no compensation for her death since it happened outside of Britain and the EU.
Grace’s case has prompted Labour MP Jim Cunningham to ask what the Ministry of Justice was doing “to ensure families whose loved ones are murdered abroad have access to criminal injuries compensation”.
Justice minister Wendy Morton said a review of the UK system was taking place.