A STUDENT has told how she fought for her life when the man accused of murdering Grace Millane allegedly suffocated her during sex.

The second week of the Millane murder trial is underway, with the court hearing evidence from a student who claimed to have matched with the accused on Tinder.

A 27-year-old man, who cannot be named, is charged with murdering Miss Millane, from Wickford, in December last year.

Prosecutors allege that on December 1 - the eve of Miss Millane’s 22nd birthday - the accused strangled her to death in his apartment in New Zealand.

The body was found crammed into a suitcase and dumped in a shallow grave in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges a week later.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had battled “with all my might”, before deciding to feign unconsciousness.

But when he eventually released her, he acted as if nothing was wrong and told her: “You don’t think I did that deliberately?”

The witness told Auckland’s High Court in New Zealand that the defendant, 27, tried to meet up with her on the day Grace, 22, is alleged to have died.

The student said she met the accused through Tinder last year and shared one date before ceasing contact.

But they reconnected in October.

The woman became unable to breathe when the 27-year-old put all his weight on her face, she told the jury.

“I couldn’t breathe,’ she said. “He sat down so that he wasn’t supporting any of his body weight.

“He had grabbed my arms to I couldn’t move them. I started kicking to indicate I couldn’t breathe. He just sat there, he didn’t move at all. It was probably 30 or 40 seconds but I managed to get the tiniest little bit of air out of the corner of my mouth.

‘”I decided to lie completely still and he would realise something was wrong. My arms were flopping. I acted like I passed out and he still didn’t get off. I thought this can’t be the way that I die.”

She told the court: “Finally he just sat up. I was gasping and he just said to me, ‘Oh, what’s wrong?’ I said ‘what do you mean what’s wrong?’

“He said ‘you don’t think I did that on purpose do you?’

“I think I was in disbelief and shock.”

He denies murder.

The trial continues.