The man accused of murdering Wickford backpacker Grace Millane told police he had no idea she had died and only realised after getting out of the shower. 

The 27-year-old defendant, whose name is surpressed by a court order, allegedly first told police the pair met for a drink then parted ways.

But later admitted they engaged in rough sex involving biting and hitting which finished on the floor.

However, he insisted he did not realise she had died and had a shower before going back to bed.

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Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey quoted the defendant as saying: "I woke up the next day and saw that she was lying on the floor.

"I saw that she had blood coming from her nose."

The prosecution claimed phone records showed the defendant had looked at pornography online multiple times after Ms Millane died and took seven intimate photographs of her body.

The records also allegedly showed he had searched online for "the hottest fire", "large bags near me" and "Waitakere Ranges" - where her body was later found in the suitcase - before going on another Tinder date later that day.

He then hired a professional carpet cleaning device.

Grace Millane's father, David, wiped aside a tear as he heard his daughter's body was found twisted inside a suitcase "in the foetal position" a week after the British backpacker went missing.

The Crown alleged the 27-year-old defendant strangled Ms Millane during rough sexual intercourse at his apartment in the centre of the city.

The defence claims the death, on either December 1 or December 2, 2018, the date of Ms Millane's 22nd birthday, was accidental.

Crown prosecutor Robin McCoubrey countered that, saying: "strangling someone to death with your hands isn't inadvertent - all of the evidence points away from an accident".

He added: "If something had gone wrong, or someone fell unconscious and it was an accident, you'd expect someone to call for emergency assistance.

"But (the accused) had plainly gone to some lengths to break any forensic links between him and Ms Millane."

Security footage showed the accused bought the suitcase and later used a trolley to take it from his apartment to a hire car.

Ms Millane's remains were found inside the suitcase in a shallow grave a week later, on December 9.

Footage from surveillance cameras in Auckland also captured Ms Millane up until she entered the defendant's apartment.

"Only two people know what happened in that room, one of them can't tell us, the other one hasn't told the truth about what happened," Mr McCoubrey said.

Defence barrister Ian Brookie said Ms Millane "died as a result of what they consensually engaged in together".

The death happened during "an act designed to enhance her sexual pleasure" and with Ms Millane's "knowledge and encouragement".

The defendant wiped tears from his face as Mr Brookie added: "While his actions may have caused her death, he is not to blame.

"This death was an accident."

A pathologist told the jury of seven women and five men that the cause of death was "pressure to the neck".

Before Ms Millane's body was forensically examined it was taken to Auckland Morgue, detective constable Lewis Sin told the court.

Her body was "in the foetal position" and she had been wearing black nail polish, he added.

Gillian Millane, Grace's mother, clutched a tissue over her mouth as Mr Sin said that earrings and a small metal tag inscribed with the word "freedom" were also found inside the suitcase.

The trial continues and is expected to last five weeks.