Wellington, New Zealand:
A New Zealand man was jailed for life on Friday for the "depraved" murder of a British backpacker he met through the online dating app Tinder.
The 28-year-old was sentenced to 17 years in December 2018 for strangling Grace Millane. This shocked New Zealand, which is usually considered a safe place to travel.
Millane disappeared on the eve of her 22nd birthday, a few days after arriving in Auckland, during a one-year trip around the world after graduation.
She met her killer for the first time on the evening of her death after meeting Tinder with him, and the couple returned to his downtown apartment after visiting several bars.
The man, who was initially denied any involvement in her death, informed the police that she had accidentally suffocated during a failed sex game.
A jury unanimously rejected the defense in November last year after only five hours of consultation.
In a highly unusual move, Judge Simon Moore ruled that the man's name could not be published and suppressed the reasons why he remained anonymous despite his conviction of murder.
Moore told the Auckland High Court on Friday that the killer had shown no sympathy for his victim, who had placed their trust in a stranger when she was traveling to an unknown city.
"You are a tall and powerful man, she was tiny," he said. "You were in a position of total physical dominance."
The judge described the man's actions after Millane's death as depraved – when he took pictures of her body, saw pornography, and made another tinder appointment for the following night.
A New Zealand life sentence has a minimum of 10 years imprisonment, but Moore imposed 17 years and said he sees no factors that would justify a reduction in the sentence.
Members of Millane's family gave the court a video link from the UK about the impact of the victims before the verdict was passed.
Brother Declan said his sister was "a beautiful soul".
"You tore our family apart and what for? There is no reason for this unspeakable act," he said to the killer.
Her mother Gillian, clutching a photo of her daughter, said she lost her best friend.
The case had prompted calls to reform the New Zealand judicial system after defense lawyers detailed Millane's sexual preferences and history.
Anti-violence activist Louise Nicholas said the defense should not bring victims to justice.
"You have to challenge the evidence, I understand, it's your job, but you don't have to do it so brutally," she told TV3 on Friday.
The case's lead investigator, detective inspector Scott Beard, said he disagreed with what he called "gross sex defense" used by the murderer's legal department.
"Strangling someone for five to ten minutes until they die is not hard sex. If people use this kind of defense, they will have to make the victim and his family again and again," he told reporters before the court.
"In this case, the Millanes had to sit through the trial for a few weeks, and their daughter's background was rightly or wrongly public."
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)