A MAN accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane will not take to the stand to defend himself in court.

The murder trial, which is being heard in the High Court at Auckland, New Zealand is now in its third week.

Basildon Standard:

Couple - the pair were seen on a date in Auckland

Basildon Standard:

Scene - where Grace's body was found in a suitcase

The accused’s lawyer, Ian Brookie, told the court this morning: “The defendant elects not to give evidence but as may be apparent now he elects to call evidence.”

Friends and former lovers of the woman took to the stand to give evidence at the court.

A former sexual partner of Grace Millane had his statement read to the court, however, much of the detail can not be reported by media due to a suppression order.

He said during their relationship Millane talked of how she had a friend who enjoyed choking during sex.

“I got the impression that this was Grace’s own interest,” he said.

The pair then began experimenting with rough sex, bondage sex known as BDSM, blindfolding and role play.

He said the two trusted each other and used a safe word. Millane would also tap him three times if she wanted to stop.

“Grace and I were careful to discuss not only the physical but psychological effects of BDSM.”

A friend of Millane, whose identity is suppressed, also had her statement read to the court.

She said Miss Millane had “a type” in a man.

“Grace liked the rugby player type of look. Grace’s taste rarely went away from that type.”

Part of “girl talk”, she said, included discussing their sexual preferences.

Millane “enjoyed her partner putting her hands around her neck”, BDSM and rough sex, she said.

She also mentioned Ms Millane would use handcuffs on occasions.

The court further heard evidence that Millane held accounts on Whiplr and FetLife, online BDSM and sexual fetish communities.

She last accessed her Whiplr account on December 1 last year - the day she met the accused - from her backpackers in Auckland.

Separately, the court heard Miss Millane died after being involved in consensual sexual activity including choking, a forensic pathologist who gave evidence on behalf of the man accused of her murder said. 

The Crown has alleged that the defendant, who cannot be named due to a suppression order, strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her in a forested area outside Auckland.

But Florida-based pathologist Dr Fintan Garavan appeared via audio-visual link in Auckland High Court and said there was "no evidence to injuries of deeper haemorrhaging" in Ms Millane's death, Nine Media's Stuff website reported.

The prosecution’s case came to an end last week and the jury heard from 30 witnesses.

The trial continues.