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Murdered backpacker Grace Millane cousin says sentencing of killer will not bring closure

UK News

A cousin of murdered Grace Millane has said the sentencing of her killer this week may not help her family to overcome their grief.

Ms Millane, of Wickford, Essex, was killed by 27-year-old Jesse Kempson in December 2018 after the pair went on a Tinder date while she was in New Zealand

Kempson was today jailed for life with a minimum term of at least 17 years for the murder of British backpacker.

Justice Simon Moore told the murderer his actions amounted to ‘conduct that underscores a lack of empathy and sense of self-entitlement and objectification’.

Ms Millane’s cousin, Hannah O’Callaghan, said the judgement ‘will not change the fact that Grace is gone’. 

A cousin of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane has said the sentencing of her killer this week may not help her family to overcome their grief

A cousin of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane has said the sentencing of her killer this week may not help her family to overcome their grief

Jesse Kempson, 27, murdered Ms Millane after they met on a date while she was travelling in New Zealand

Jesse Kempson, 27, murdered Ms Millane after they met on a date while she was travelling in New Zealand

A cousin of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane (left) has said the sentencing of her killer, Jesse Kempson (right), this week may not help her family to overcome their grief 

Speaking to BBC Breakfast that Ms Millane was a ‘fun-loving carefree individual’ with much to look forward to.

She added: ‘Every week is going to be a big week. We’ve lost Grace. The sentence is not going to change the fact that Grace is gone.’ 

Ms Millane had just started to travel the world after recently graduating from university when she went on a date with Kempson. 

Kempson is set to be sentenced on Friday but Ms Millane's cousin, Hannah O'Callaghan (pictured), said the judgement 'will not change the fact that Grace is gone'

Kempson is set to be sentenced on Friday but Ms Millane's cousin, Hannah O'Callaghan (pictured), said the judgement 'will not change the fact that Grace is gone'

Kempson is set to be sentenced on Friday but Ms Millane’s cousin, Hannah O’Callaghan (pictured), said the judgement ‘will not change the fact that Grace is gone’

She was killed either that night, December 1st, or in the early hours of the next morning, the date of her 22nd birthday.

Her body was later found buried in a shallow grave in a forested area outside Auckland.

Kempson was found guilty at Auckland High Court in November. 

Prosecutors said he strangled her and shoved her body inside a suitcase before burying her.

Ms Millane, of Wickford, Essex, was killed by 27-year-old Jesse Kempson in December 2018 after the pair went on a Tinder date . Pictured: CCTV the backpacker inside a hotel lift with Kempson, 27. It was the last footage of her alive

Ms Millane, of Wickford, Essex, was killed by 27-year-old Jesse Kempson in December 2018 after the pair went on a Tinder date . Pictured: CCTV the backpacker inside a hotel lift with Kempson, 27. It was the last footage of her alive

Ms Millane, of Wickford, Essex, was killed by 27-year-old Jesse Kempson in December 2018 after the pair went on a Tinder date . Pictured: CCTV the backpacker inside a hotel lift with Kempson, 27. It was the last footage of her alive

Ms Millane had just started to travel the world after recently graduating from university when she went on a date with Kempson. Pictured: CCTV footage followed Ms Millane and Kempson throughout their their date, including their first stop at a casino (pictured)

Ms Millane had just started to travel the world after recently graduating from university when she went on a date with Kempson. Pictured: CCTV footage followed Ms Millane and Kempson throughout their their date, including their first stop at a casino (pictured)

Ms Millane had just started to travel the world after recently graduating from university when she went on a date with Kempson. Pictured: CCTV footage followed Ms Millane and Kempson throughout their their date, including their first stop at a casino (pictured)

She was killed either that night, December 1st, or in the early hours of the next morning, the date of her 22nd birthday. Pictured: The pair were then pictured paying after spending an hour at a cafe

She was killed either that night, December 1st, or in the early hours of the next morning, the date of her 22nd birthday. Pictured: The pair were then pictured paying after spending an hour at a cafe

She was killed either that night, December 1st, or in the early hours of the next morning, the date of her 22nd birthday. Pictured: The pair were then pictured paying after spending an hour at a cafe

Pictures of the bedroom where Kempson throttled Ms Millane during what he claimed was a sex game that went wrong

Pictures of the bedroom where Kempson throttled Ms Millane during what he claimed was a sex game that went wrong

Pictures of the bedroom where Kempson throttled Ms Millane during what he claimed was a sex game that went wrong 

Her body was later found in a suitcase buried in a shallow grave in a forested area outside Auckland. Pictured: Forensic examiners are pictured marking out the area where the suitcase containing Grace's body was buried

Her body was later found in a suitcase buried in a shallow grave in a forested area outside Auckland. Pictured: Forensic examiners are pictured marking out the area where the suitcase containing Grace's body was buried

Her body was later found in a suitcase buried in a shallow grave in a forested area outside Auckland. Pictured: Forensic examiners are pictured marking out the area where the suitcase containing Grace’s body was buried 

She was assumed missing and her father, David Millane, flew to New Zealand as local authorities spent a week searching until her body was found by police.

The family have now set up a charity in her memory, called Love Grace, where handbags and toiletries are collected for domestic abuse victims.

The project is now running in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Britain.

Ms O’Callaghan described it as a ‘really fitting tribute’ as it helps to make women ‘feel like they are worth something’.

It has also helped Ms Millane’s mother Gillian to grieve.

After Kempson was found guilty of Ms Millane's murder, her father Mr Millane and her mother, Gillian Millane, wept, as did several jurors

After Kempson was found guilty of Ms Millane's murder, her father Mr Millane and her mother, Gillian Millane, wept, as did several jurors

After Kempson was found guilty of Ms Millane’s murder, her father Mr Millane and her mother, Gillian Millane, wept, as did several jurors 

Ms O’Callaghan told the programme: ‘It’s allowed her to express her grief.

‘Sometimes when things like this happen you do feel useless.

‘You can’t change it so let’s make some positives out of our negative.’

After Kempson was found guilty of Ms Millane’s murder, her father Mr Millane and her mother, Gillian Millane, wept, as did several jurors.

Mr Millane said at the time: ‘Grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever.’

Ms Millane's family have now set up a charity in her memory, called Love Grace, where handbags and toiletries are collected for domestic abuse victims

Ms Millane's family have now set up a charity in her memory, called Love Grace, where handbags and toiletries are collected for domestic abuse victims

Ms Millane

Ms Millane

Ms Millane’s family have now set up a charity in her memory, called Love Grace, where handbags and toiletries are collected for domestic abuse victims

The project is now running in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Britain

The project is now running in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Britain

The project is now running in the US, Canada, New Zealand and Britain

Ms O'Callaghan described it as a 'really fitting tribute' as it helps to make women 'feel like they are worth something'. It has also helped Ms Millane's mother Gillian to grieve

Ms O'Callaghan described it as a 'really fitting tribute' as it helps to make women 'feel like they are worth something'. It has also helped Ms Millane's mother Gillian to grieve

Ms O’Callaghan described it as a ‘really fitting tribute’ as it helps to make women ‘feel like they are worth something’. It has also helped Ms Millane’s mother Gillian to grieve

Police officers said during the trial that phone data showed the killer had used Google to browse websites for large duffel bags, suitcases and car hire after Ms Millane died.

The defendant’s phone was also used to search for ‘flesh-eating birds’ and ‘are there vultures in New Zealand?’.

Records showed the defendant had searched online for ‘the hottest fire’, ‘large bags near me’ and ‘Waitakere Ranges’.

He faces life in prison with a minimum of 10 years without parole, though the judge can increase the latter period.

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.

DailyMail Online


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