Grace Millane’s killer finally named following New Zealand court ruling

The killer of Essex backpacker Grace Millane has been named after a ruling by the supreme court in New Zealand.

Grace, from Wickford, Essex was murdered the day before her 22nd birthday in December 2018 whilst backpacking on her own.

Her killer has finally been named as 28-year-old Jesse Kempson.

He was jailed for a minimum of 17 years in February for the murder of Grace in his hotel room in Auckland.

In a statement, the Millane family said: “As a family we do not think about him or speak his name.”

The court judgment also revealed that Kempson has been convicted at two further trials in the past three months, of raping a woman he met on the dating app, Tinder, and of a series of offences against a former partner, including sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, threatening to kill and assault with a weapon.

Kempson met Grace on a dating app and dumped her body in a forested area after strangling her in a hotel in Auckland on December 1, 2018

The New Zealand supreme court said his name had been suppressed because he had faced the two further trials, but that it was dismissing his appeal against a Court of Appeal decision to allow him to be named, and so the orders allowing him anonymity now lapsed.

The last photos of Grace Millane alive
(Image: Auckland City Police/PA Wire)

Earlier this month, he lost an appeal against his conviction and prison sentence, a court said.

At the time, New Zealand Police issued a statement from the Millane family, who said they were “pleased at the outcome that has been reached” in the loss of the appeal.

The family thanked the police, judges, prosecutors and the people of New Zealand.

They added: “Grace was a kind, fun-loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, aunty, cousin and friend with her whole life ahead of her.

“She was enjoying the first of what would have been a lifetime of adventures before her life was so cruelly and brutally cut short by her murderer.

“Her sense of fun, her sense of adventure, her love of travel and exploring, along with her ability to light up any room she walked into it with her generosity of spirit, are memories we as a family cherish and how we will forever remember her.

“Although the focus will inevitably be on the outcome of today’s legal process, as a family our hearts and our love will always be with our beautiful Grace.

“Grace, you are, and will always be, our sunshine.”

Essex Live