A woman who went on a date with Grace Millane's killer just hours after the British backpacker's death has revealed how he tested his "most believable" theories on her.
In a column for Newshub, the woman described her date on 2 December 2018 with the 27-year-old man who she had met on dating site Tinder.
"My instincts told me something was not right with this man and, while it took me a long time to write this, I want to share my experience so other women can remove themselves from situations they feel unsafe in," the woman wrote.
During their date in the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby, the woman noticed how clean the killer appeared, his big eyes and his eagerness to talk about venomous snakes.
The woman, who has also spoken about the date in court, said the man referred to buying a suitcase – in which British backpacker Ms Millane's body was later found buried in a shallow grave outside Auckland – but expressed his frustration that it was not big enough to fit his sports equipment.
The killer mentioned his best friend, a crown prosecutor, was moving from Sydney to Auckland, which prompted the woman to refer to her previous career as a court reporter, including on a murder trial.
In what seemed strange to her, he then said: "It's funny how guys can make one wrong move and go to jail for the rest of their lives."
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She wrote: "In hindsight, it was as if he was using this date to process what he'd done in a rather roundabout way – his brain needed to get it out but his mouth held him back. Was he testing theories on me to see which version seemed most believable?"
The night before, the man had been on another Tinder date with Ms Millane, from Wickford, Essex, and the pair spent several hours drinking in the centre of Auckland before returning to his apartment.
Ms Millane was either killed on the night of 1 December or in the early hours of her 22nd birthday. The man claimed she died accidentally after she asked him to put his hands on her neck during consensual rough sex.
Last month, the man, whose name is protected by a court order, was found guilty of strangling the young woman by a jury of seven women and five men who returned a unanimous verdict in five hours at Auckland High Court.