WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand man found guilty of murdering a British backpacker appealed his conviction and punishment on Thursday, with his new lawyer arguing he didn’t get a fair trial and his sentence was too harsh.
Prosecutors argued in the trial that the man deliberately strangled Millane to death, while defense lawyers claimed the death was accidental after the pair engaged in consensual erotic choking that went too far.
The jury found the man guilty and a judge sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years.
Lawyer Rachael Reed told the Court of Appeal judges that she wasn’t seeking to excuse the man´s “abhorrent” actions after Millane’s death, according to news organization Stuff.
The name of the 28-year-old man convicted of murder is being kept secret for now by court order, a restriction that is sometimes imposed in the New Zealand judicial system for reasons such as another pending trial.