Grace Millane’s shameless killer loses final appeal against murder conviction after strangling Brit backpacker to death

Grace Millane’s shameless killer loses final appeal against murder conviction after strangling Brit backpacker to death

June 29, 2021

A MAN who strangled a British backpacker before stuffing her body in a suitcase and dumping it in a shallow grave has lost his final bid to have his murder conviction overturned.

Shameless killer Jesse Kempson, 28, will face 17 years behind bars without parole for the death of Grace Millane, 21, after New Zealand courts reject his latest appeal.



Tuesday's Supreme Court decision brings an end to Kempson's allocated number of appeals.

Backpacker Grace, 21, spent her final hours sipping cocktails and sharing kisses with Kempson before he later choked her to death.

CCTV cameras captured her being hugged by the brute as they first met before they are later seen embracing in bars in the city.

The final tragic moments show the Essex girl and her 28-year-old killer leaving a lift to go to the motel room where he killed her.

Kempson then strangled her, took intimate photos of her naked body before searching degrading pornography on his phone.

Her body was later stuffed into a suitcase coffin and buried in a shallow grave with a blanket of mud shovelled on top in the Waitākere Ranges in December 2018.

Kempson denies murder and claims her death was a tragic accident after the pair had consensual rough sex.

The decision is in line with a Court of Appeal's decision from December 2020 that ruled that there was "no credible narrative of consent, or honest belief," that consent was given by Grace.

Echoing that ruling, the Supreme Court said: "His actions in the aftermath of her death (in particular the two internet searches and the taking of intimate photographs…) are not easily reconcilable with his innocent accident explanation.

"Nor are the actions that he later took to dispose of her body."

In December 2020, renowned body language expert Judi James told the Sun Online that Kempson may have used "mix-message body language" to dupe his victims.

Analysing CCTV images of the night, she said Kempson may have tried to play the role of the perfect date when he first met Grace in the lobby of his motel.


"As he hugs Grace he keeps his arms bent away from her body and his hands look rigid, which could have given the misleading impression of being a bit of a gentleman.

"This combination of being overpowering but also subtly polite, however flimsily, could have been confusing.

"Even after kissing in the bar, when he gets into the lift he appears to keep his distance in the closest proximity, rather than pouncing."

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