Tag Archives: grace

Grace Millane: Man accused over backpacker murder appears in court as PM apologises on behalf of New Zealand for her death

Grace Millane: Man accused over backpacker murder appears in court as PM apologises on behalf of New Zealand for her deathThe man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane was jeered as he appeared in a packed Auckland court on Monday. Ms Millane, 22, died while travelling in New Zealand and her body was found in bushland on Sunday afternoon, about 30 feet from a highway outside the New Zealand city. The 26-year-old accused, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, appeared in a blue boiler suit as he attended Auckland's District Court on Monday morning. Ms Millane, from Essex, was last seen alive entering the CityLife Hotel with the man last Saturday at 9.41pm. The defendant was listed on a charge sheet as residing at the hotel on Queen Street in central Auckland. In his opening remarks Judge Evangelos Thomas addressed members of Millane's family, some of whom were in attendance. Her father, David Millane, arrived in New Zealand last Friday following his daughter's disappearance. “Your grief must be desperate,” Judge Thomas told the family in court, where every seat was taken by the public and the international and local media. “All of us hope that justice for Grace is fair and swift and ultimately brings you some peace.”  As the defendant was led out of the court, a man at the back of the court yelled out “scumbag”. Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern became became visibly upset as she apologised to Ms Millane's family at her weekly post-cabinet news conference.  ‘Your daughter should have been safe here’ – PM Jacinda Ardern fighting back tears as she apologies on behalf of NZ for the death of Grace Millane ⁦@NewshubPolitics⁩ pic.twitter.com/WqnsM3IgMm— Tova O'Brien (@TovaOBrien) December 10, 2018 "On behalf of New Zealand, I want to apologise to Grace's family," Ms Ardern told a weekly news conference in parliament. Ms Ardern said she could not imagine the grief that her family would be going through, according to Radio New Zealand.  “Your daughter should have been safe here and she wasn't and I'm sorry for that.” Ms Ardern told the family through police that the government would offer any assistance it could. Judge Evangelos Thomas speaks as a man accused of Grace Millane's murder appears in court in Auckland Credit: Getty Judge Thomas rejected an application from the accused's lawyer for his client's name to be suppressed based on fair trial rights. However, the decision was immediately appealed, meaning the accused's name will not be released for at least 20 working days until the appeal is determined. The accused looked at the judge for most of the 90 minutes he was in court, nodding that he understood when spoken to, his eyes only occasionally flicking towards the cameras on the other side of the court. The defendant's next appearance will be in the High Court on January 23. Accused 'was estranged from family' The accused was reportedly estranged from his family after his parents separated, according to his grandfather.  NZ media organisation Stuff reported that the grandfather, who said he'd helped raise him for a period after his parents separated, was struggling to come to terms with what his grandson had been accused of.  “He was a nice kid, but he sort of fell out with everybody, which is what happens with broken-up marriages.”  He was worried about how the allegations would affect the wider family but declined to comment further.  A female relative of the accused told Stuff he'd spent time living in Australia, where his mother lived, but she was unaware he'd returned.  His paternal grandmother told Stuff that while living in Australia the man fathered a daughter but was no longer in a relationship with the mother.  Stuff said the accused's father hadn't spoken to his son for two years, citing: “A difference in opinion on life.” Emotional tributes from family Police have yet to reveal how the pair met or the possible motive for the alleged murder. Security footage at the hotel, along with a scene investigation at a room there, confirmed that Ms Millane was dead.   Detective Inspector Scott Beard said the body was found near Scenic Drive, which leads through the Waitakere Ranges, a popular parkland west of Auckland. Grace Millane was on a year-long round-the-world trip “This brings the search for Grace to an end,” said Detective Beard, who was visibly emotional delivering the news of the discovery. “It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.” Ms Millane's family have described her as “lovely, outgoing, fun-loving and family-orientated”. Her brother Declan paid public tribute on social media with a series of photographs of Ms Millane smiling, celebrating, graduating and, as a little girl, hugging her sibling. He also wrote the lyrics to the song "you are my sunshine, my only sunshine" underneath pictures of the pair together.   View this post on Instagram ��♥️You are my sunshine, my only sunshine You make me happy when skies are gray You'll never know, dear, how much I love you Please don't take my sunshine away A post shared by Declan Millane (@declan_millane) on Dec 9, 2018 at 2:16am PST Ms Millane, who completed a degree in advertising and marketing at Lincoln University, was on a yearlong trip and arrived in New Zealand on November 20 after a four-week group tour to Peru. Her family raised concerns after she failed to make contact for several days, including on her 22nd birthday last Sunday. Police received a missing person report on Wednesday and commenced a major search and public campaign that saw dozens of calls made to a helpline. David Millane, Grace’s father, arrived in New Zealand on Friday morning and gave a press conference with police, issuing a moving appeal for help. He was joined on the weekend by another family member. Tributes to Grace Millane are left at the roundabout in Titirangi, at the start of Scenic Drive  in Auckland Credit: Getty Mr Millane, a property developer, said Ms Millane had typically “bombarded” the family with messages and photographs during her travels but suddenly went silent after last Saturday. "Grace is a lovely, outgoing, fun-loving, family-orientated daughter," he said. "Grace has never been out of contact for this amount of time. She's usually in daily contact with either her mother, myself, her two brothers or members of the family on social media. "We are all extremely upset and it's very difficult at this time to fully describe the range of emotions we are going through." Police took the 26-year-old man into custody several days ago and have charged him with murder.  Detective Inspector Scott Beard speaks at the scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane was found Credit: Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images Detective Beard said the investigation will continue and searches were still underway at the hotel. He would not comment on whether the pair met on the dating app Tinder. "The focus now is to piece together exactly what happened to a young woman who came to New Zealand on her [overseas experience]," he said. Appeal for information Ms Millane’s body was allegedly transported to the parkland in a red Toyota Corolla hatchback that was rented from a central Auckland firm last Sunday. Police released two photos of the car, which was found in the central North Island town of Taupo, and were appealing for anyone who had seen the vehicle on the morning of Monday, December 3, near the area where the body was found. Expressing condolences to Mr Millane and the family, Detective Beard said: "Any father in this situation is going to struggle. We are putting a lot of support around him. I feel for him, I have a daughter in her twenties.” A 2016 red Toyota Corolla hire car that police are analysing as part of a probe into the death of Grace Millane Credit: PA The case has sent shockwaves across New Zealand, where people expressed outrage and some on social media described the case as a “national shame”. It has also raised concerns about violence towards women in the country. Justin Lester, the mayor of Wellington, the capital, said the case was a "horrible and tragic nightmare". "Our girls should be safe to travel and go out and our men should be looking after and protecting them, not causing harm," he said on Twitter.



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Grace Millane: Police increasingly concerned over British backpacker missing in New Zealand

Grace Millane: Police increasingly concerned over British backpacker missing in New ZealandPolice say they are growing increasingly concerned for the welfare of a British tourist who has gone missing in New Zealand. Detectives are investigating the disappearance of 22-year-old Grace Millane, who was last seen in Auckland on Saturday night. The backpacker, reported to be from Essex, has not been in contact with her family for several days, including on her 22nd birthday on Sunday. Detective Inspector Scott Beard, of Auckland City Police, said Ms Millane's father was on his way to New Zealand, and said her family were understandably "distraught". "Clearly this is a very stressful time for Grace's family and the longer she remains missing, the more our concern grows for her safety and wellbeing," he said. CCTV image issued by Auckland City Police shows Grace Millane at Auckland's Sky City entertainment complex Credit:  Auckland City Police Ms Millane is said to have been in New Zealand for about two weeks, and was staying at a backpackers' hostel in Auckland city centre. Police have released a CCTV image of the last known sighting of her at 7.15pm on Saturday at entertainment complex Sky City. A number of unconfirmed sightings have been reported to detectives. Members of Ms Millane's family have shared appeals for information on Facebook, and Mr Beard said more than 20 staff were working on the case. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are providing consular support to the family in the UK, and working with the New Zealand Police in relation to reports of a missing British national in New Zealand."



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Irish church's fall from grace haunts pope's Ireland trip

Irish church's fall from grace haunts pope's Ireland tripBLESSINGTON, Ireland (AP) — When St. John Paul II visited Ireland in 1979, the Catholic Church wielded such power that homosexuality, divorce, abortion and contraception were barely spoken of, much less condoned. Catholic bishops had advised the authors of Ireland's constitution, and still held sway.



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'Grit & Grace, Brains & Beauty.' Here's What Every Living President Said About Barbara Bush

'Grit & Grace, Brains & Beauty.' Here's What Every Living President Said About Barbara BushMany highlighted her public service and commitment to her family



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The persistence of grace: Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968

The persistence of grace: Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968Martin Luther King Jr.'s life is proof that grace is not beyond our reach here on Earth, if we follow his example. An appreciation by Jonathan Darman.



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Grace and Robert Mugabe 'to remain in Zimbabwe' under government deal

Grace and Robert Mugabe 'to remain in Zimbabwe' under government dealRobert Mugabe and his family are set to remain in Zimbabwe under a deal with the ruling party that will see them retreat from politics in exchange for secure retirement, diplomatic and political sources in Harare said.   Mr Mugabe, 93, resigned on Tuesday following a military coup and an outpouring of public anger at economic mismanagement, corruption, and political violence during his nearly four decades of rule.  During celebrations in Harare following his resignation on Tuesday night, one man told The Telegraph he would like to see the former president "in leg irons". But in a possible indication of plans to rehabilitate the ousted president, posters were put up in Harare on Wednesday with the slogan "let Mugabe rest now". "President Mugabe is now a private citizen. Let’s let him enjoy a private life," said Nick Mangwana, the head of the Zanu-PF branch in London. "For the 1st time in history, Zimbabwe has a former leader. We don’t know how to treat such," he added on Twitter.  Mr Mugabe and his family may also be allowed to retain control of their assets, including the "Blue Roof", the vast luxury Harare mansion where Mr Mugabe and Grace Mugabe, the former first lady, spent the past week under house arrest.  Profile | Grace Mugabe It is unclear whether there would be any investigation into how Mrs Mugabe amassed wealth including what is believed to be the largest land and real estate portfolio owned by anyone in Zimbabwean history. Welshman Ncube, a barrister, constitutional lawyer, and long time opposition leader said: "Mugabe is a complex character. He would have told the military, 'make me a martyr but I am going nowhere'. Given the vitriol and hatred towards Grace Mugabe, I suspect she will move in and out but spend more time out of Zimbabwe. He added: "Remember however much we want a new Zimbabwe, Mnangagwa was, from the beginning,  an enforcer for Mugabe, as were the generals. I would so like to be wrong, but this is not about a new Zimbabwe, it is still about Zanu-PF which has always been a party of coercion.” Other allies of Mrs Mugabe from the G40, the faction of Zanu-PF that supported her, may not be so lucky.  Phelekezela Mphoko, Zimbabwe's second vice president who was in Japan at the time of the coup, is believed to have flown to Zambia. Savior Kasukawere, a local government minister, and Jonathan Moyo, the tertiary education minister, are understood to have fled to South Africa.  Mr Moyo said on Twitter earlier this week that about 50 other senior Zanu-PF figures had also left the country.  Human rights groups have expressed concern about the whereabouts of Ignatius Chombo, the finance minister, who has not been seen since the night of the coup on November 14.  It emerged on Wednesday that Mr Mugabe himself turned down an offer of asylum from neighbouring Zambia at the height of the coup.  “I had talked to him that if the chips are down you can come here but he refused saying that his home was Zimbabwe and he will remain there,” Edgar Lungu, the president of Zambia, told local media. 



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Grace Mugabe: the office worker who wanted to rule Zimbabwe

Grace Mugabe: the office worker who wanted to rule ZimbabweBy Joe Brock HARARE (Reuters) – The spectacular rise and fall of Zimbabwe’s uncompromising First Lady, Grace Mugabe, had an unusual beginning: an office affair. It was the early 1990s when President Robert Mugabe’s eye fell upon one of his shy young typists. President Mugabe is trying to cling to power after the military took over this week in response to his purge of vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, a liberation war fighter and Grace’s sworn enemy.



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Zimbabwe arrests journalist over Grace Mugabe 'used' underwear

Zimbabwe arrests journalist over Grace Mugabe 'used' underwearZimbabwe police have arrested a journalist at a privately-owned daily over a story claiming that President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace had donated second-hand underwear to supporters, lawyers said Tuesday. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that Kenneth Nyangani, a NewsDay journalist, was arrested on Monday night “for allegedly writing and publishing a story over the donation of some used undergarments by First Lady Grace Mugabe”. Nyangani was being detained in the eastern city of Mutare and is likely to face “criminal defamation” charges, the organisation said in a statement.



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Grace Mugabe makes first public appearance since South Africa assault charge

Grace Mugabe makes first public appearance since South Africa assault chargeZimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, on Friday made her first public appearance since leaving South Africa where she was charged with assault. The wife of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, a potential successor to the president, was granted diplomatic immunity and left South Africa on Sunday. The Mugabes attended a farming fair in Harare, where Grace was seen smiling and talking with exhibitors.



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Grace Mugabe make first public appearance since South Africa assault charge

Grace Mugabe make first public appearance since South Africa assault chargeZimbabwe’s first lady, Grace Mugabe, on Friday made her first public appearance since leaving South Africa where she was charged with assault. The wife of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, a potential successor to the president, was granted diplomatic immunity and left South Africa on Sunday. The Mugabes attended a farming fair in Harare, where Grace was seen smiling and talking with exhibitors.



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