Timeline: The trials and conviction of Grace Millane's killer, Jesse Kempson

Jesse Shane Kempson. Photo: RNZ/Dan Cook
Jesse Shane Kempson. Photo: RNZ/Dan Cook
Jesse Shane Kempson is serving time for murdering Grace Millane, and has also been found guilty on a raft of sexual violation offences relating to two other women. Here's a timeline over the past two years.

  • This story was first published by RNZ

British backpacker Grace Millane arrived in New Zealand on 20 November 2018.

On the eve of her 22nd birthday, she went on a date with a man she met on Tinder. He later strangled her to death in his apartment in central Auckland and buried her body in a suitcase, in a shallow grave in the Waitākere Ranges.

Two years later, the man found guilty of her murder - and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years - can now be named.

He is 28-year-old Jesse Shane Kempson.

It can now be revealed Kempson had other victims - and he has been convicted and sentenced on a raft of sexual violation offences relating to two other women.

He is mounting appeals in both cases.

This is what happened -

Millane goes on a date with Kempson, bar hopping in central Auckland. She was last seen alive about 9.40pm. CCTV footage shows her exiting a lift at the CityLife Hotel with Kempson. A few hours later, she was dead.

Kempson cleans his apartment, buys a suitcase to put Millane's body in and hires a car. He heads to Ponsonby for another Tinder date that afternoon.

About 24 hours after she was last seen, Kempson wheels a suitcase with Millane's body in it out of the CityLife Hotel and puts it in the rental car.

  • 20 November 2018: Grace Millane arrives in New Zealand.
  • 1 December 2018: Millane sends a photo of a Christmas tree at Sky City to her family back in England. It's the last time she contacts them.
  • 2 December 2018: Millane's 22nd birthday.
  • 3 December 2018: Kempson drives to the Waitākere Ranges and buries Millane's body in a shallow grave.
  • 5 December 2018: Millane is reported missing by her family after she fails to respond to their birthday messages.
  • 7 December 2018: David Millane arrives in New Zealand and makes an emotional appeal for any information about his daughter's disappearance.
  • 8 December 2018: The missing person's investigation turns into a homicide inquiry. Kempson is arrested and charged with murder.
  • 9 December 2018: Millane's body is found in the Waitākere Ranges.
  • 10 December 2018: Kempson makes his first appearance in the Auckland District Court. He is granted interim name suppression. However, his name is published on social media and by international media outlets.
  • 16 January 2019: Kempson pleads not guilty to murder in the High Court at Auckland.
  • 4 November 2019: Trial begins in the High Court at Auckland, with a jury of seven women and five men.
  • 22 November 2019: After five hours of deliberations, the jury delivers a guilty verdict.
  • 21 February 2020: Kempson sentenced to life in prison with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years in the High Court at Auckland.
  • 6 August 2020: Kempson appeals his conviction and sentence to the Court of Appeal.
  • 19 October 2020: Kempson appears in his second trial in the High Court at Auckland. It is a judge-alone trial. He faces eight charges relating to the physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse of an ex-girlfriend: two charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, three charges of male assaults female, two of assault with a weapon and one of threatening to kill.
  • 23 October 2020: After reserving his decision, Justice Brewer finds Kempson guilty on all eight charges.
  • 2 November 2020: Kempson's third trial gets underway in the High Court at Auckland. It is also a judge-alone trial. He is charged with raping a woman he met on Tinder in an Auckland motel.
  • 6 November 2020: After reserving his decision, Justice Venning finds Kempson guilty of rape.
  • 20 November 2020: Kempson is jailed for seven-and-a-half years for subjecting his ex-girlfriend to months of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. Kempson is appealing his conviction and sentence in this case.
  • 27 November 2020: Kempson is jailed for three-and-a-half years for raping a woman in an Auckland motel. He is also appealing his conviction and sentence in this case.
  • 18 December 2020: The Court of Appeal dismisses his bid to overturn his conviction and sentence for murdering Millane. He has indicated he will appeal this decision to the Supreme Court.
  • 22 December 2020: The Supreme Court denies his last-ditch appeal bid and name suppression lapses.

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