Jesse Kempson, 28, is appealing his conviction and life sentence for strangling Ms Millane during ‘rough sex’ on December 1, 2018
The Tinder date who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane can finally be named after suppression orders were lifted.
Jesse Shane Kempson, 28, was allowed to keep his name secret throughout the court proceedings over the 2018 killing of the 21-year-old student as his defence counsel argued naming him would prevent him getting a fair trial.
Even after his conviction in November 2019, his sentencing in February 2020, and his appeal being denied on Friday, journalists and the public could be arrested for identifying him.
But his last minute attempt to keep his identity concealed any longer with an appeal with the Supreme Court failed on Tuesday.
It can also now be revealed Kempson was also convicted of raping another woman in a motel room just months before he met Ms Millane.
He was also convicted of sexually violating and seriously assaulting a former girlfriend in October.
This is the first time he has been publicly named in New Zealand, though British and Australian publications named him throughout the case.
British backpacker Grace Millane, left, was strangled to death after meeting her killer via Tinder on December 1, 2018 – the day before her 22nd birthday
It can now be revealed Kempson has also been convicted of raping another woman in a motel room. The rape happened just months before he met Grace
Shocking pictures played to the jury reveal the moment police discovered the body of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane dumped in this muddy hole in the ground
Kempson was sentenced to life behind bars with a non-parole period of 17 years for murdering Grace in his Auckland apartment in December 2018.
The graduate of England’s University of Lincoln was strangled to death by Kempson, who she had met on Tinder, on the night before her 22nd birthday.
Kempson took photos of her body after her death. She was later found in a suitcase buried in a forested area outside the city.
He claimed Grace, who was from Wickford in Essex, died accidentally after the pair engaged in rough sex that went too far.
A jury in November 2019 rejected that argument and found the man guilty.
Murder typically comes with a life sentence in New Zealand. Prosecutors successfully argued the man must serve 17 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Kempson, who watched on from a video link to his jail while his family sat in the courtroom, still maintains his innocence on the murder charge
He was convicted of murdering Ms Millane (pictured, left and right) by strangling her in a hotel in Auckland after meeting her via Tinder on December 1, 2018 – the day before her 22nd birthday
In sentencing, Justice Simon Moore told the murderer his actions amounted to ‘conduct that underscores a lack of empathy and sense of self-entitlement and objectification’.
Kempson attempted to appeal his sentence but that bid was rejected by the Court of Appeal in a decision released on Friday.
The judges upheld that saying: ‘Ms Millane was particularly vulnerable, being intoxicated, in a strange apartment, naked, in the arms of a comparative stranger with whom she thought she could trust, and with his hands around her throat’.
Ms Millane’s killer played for an amateur softball team in Auckland. He told would-be sexual partners that his cousin was a rugby star for the All Blacks and that he was suffering cancer
Pictures of the bedroom where Kempson throttled Ms Millane during what he claimed was a sex game that went wrong
Ms Millane’s father David Millane, 62, died last month after a battle with cancer, New Zealand Police said at the time.
On Friday the force 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.
Left, Grace in April 2017. Right, Adventure-loving Grace is pictured here in September 2016, in front of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge
Parents of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane, Dave and Gillian speak to the media outside the High Court, in Auckland, New Zealand last November
‘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.’
Grace’s final hours on the Tinder date that led to her death:
December 1, 2018
5.45pm: Grace Millane was shown arriving in front of the casino’s 20 foot tall Christmas tree, where she stood waiting for her date. She sends a picture of the tree to her parents in Essex. He arrives and they hug.
6pm: The two of them walk into the casino and find Andy’s Burger Bar. He and Grace were seen ordering drinks and finding a table.
7.12pm: The couple left the burger bar and cross the road into the Mexican cafe where they spend the next hour until the defendant came to pay the bill with her standing beside him.
8.27pm: The pair were filmed in the distance crossing Albert Street and moving ever closer to the killer’s home. They headed into the Bluestone Room where the accused had earlier been drinking beer alone. They kiss.
9.41pm: CCTV shows the couple entering the hotel where the killer was living. They enter the lift and head to the killer’s apartment. In the hours that followed she was brutally murdered, possibly in the early hours of December 2, her birthday.