Jesse Kempson: Grace Millane’s killer revealed after he loses appeal against murder conviction

The killer of a young British backpacker can finally be named after he lost an appeal against his murder conviction and sentence.

It can also be revealed that Jesse Kempson had raped another British tourist eight months before he murdered Grace Millane.

Just as he did later with Ms Millane, Kempson took the British rape victim out on a Tinder date before bringing her back to his Auckland motel room.

Furious at her refusal to have sex after he had bought her drinks, Kempson raped her while she lay on the bed crying and frozen with fear.

She kept the attack secret until she recognised Kempson, now 28, from media coverage the day he was charged with Grace’s murder in December 2018.

The rape victim, who cannot be named, then went straight to the police.

In a statement read to the court at Kempson’s sentencing for the rape, the victim said for a long time she had woken up “crying and screaming” with flashbacks and nightmares, terrified that her attacker would track her down.

She said: “Every time I went to sleep, I’d see your eyes popping out of your head, staring at me in anger.”

Vowing never to say Kempson’s name aloud, she said she had had to check her front door was locked three times every night, but with support from counsellors and her partner had recovered.

“I am not scared,” she said. “I am strong. I am not alone. I am loved. I have so much to look forward to in my life and I will not look back. “You don’t have any power over me any more.”

Kempson had avoided the rape charge, and eight further charges of sexual and other violence against a former girlfriend, being heard as part of his murder trial last year.

Instead, in two separate trials, he chose to be tried by judges sitting without juries but was convicted each time.

Justice Geoffrey Venning found him guilty of the rape last month, prompting an outburst from the dock from Kempson.

He shouted: “You have no reason to convict me. You’re full of s*** mate.”

At his sentencing, Justice Venning said it was clear Kempson did not accept his offending and told him: “You have no remorse or insight into it.”

In the other trial, he was convicted of terrorising his live-in girlfriend over a period of months.

He subjected her to violent assaults, threatened her with a butcher’s knife and forced her into humiliating sex acts after telling her he had been sent by the CIA to kill her.

Details of the new cases and their links to Grace Millane’s death can only be reported now after Kempson failed in a bid to overturn his murder conviction and sentence at New Zealand’s Court of Appeal.

Kempson has been described a failed salesman who had become obsessed with online dating and told women, colleagues and friends a never-ending stream of bizarre lies to boost his ego or attract sympathy.

He has now been sentenced to a total of 11 years jail for the two recent trials, to be served concurrently with the 17-year minimum sentence for Ms Millane’s murder, but plans to appeal against both new convictions.

Kempson strangled Ms Millane to death the night before her 22nd birthday in December 2018.

They had been for a drink together in Auckland, New Zealand, after meeting on the Tinder dating app.

During his murder trial at Auckland Crown Court earlier this year, prosecutors said Kempson shoved Ms Millane’s body inside a suitcase before burying her in the Waitakere Ranges outside the city.

She was assumed missing and her father, David Millane, flew to New Zealand during the week-long search for her body.

Outside the courtroom after the guilty verdict, Mr Millane made an emotional statement describing his daughter as “our sunshine” and said she would be “missed forever”.

Ms Millane was born in Brentwood, Essex, the third child and only daughter of parents Gillian and David, who already had two young sons, Michael and Declan.

An outgoing teenager who loved music and was a talented hockey player, she went on to earn a degree in advertising and marketing from the University of Lincoln.

She left her home in Wickford, Essex, in October 2018 and flew to South America for the first leg of her gap year.

After arriving in New Zealand on 20 November, she spent 10 days travelling around the upper North Island, including Cape Reinga and the Bay of Islands, before heading to Auckland.

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