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Man, 26, accused of murdering British backpacker in New Zealand is set to appear in court 



'Scumbag': Suspect, 26, accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane is abused from the public gallery as friends and family of the 22-year-old victim sit yards from him during his first court appearance

  • The body of Grace Millane, 22, was found by police outside Auckland Sunday a week after her disappearance
  • A 26-year-old man was arrested and charged with her murder earlier this week following a police operation 
  • Court documents revealed he and Grace had been staying at the same hotel in downtown Auckland last week
  • The suspect was called a 'scumbag' from the public gallery as he appeared in the city's court on Monday 

By George Martin For Mailonline and Stephen D'antal In New Zealand For Mailonline

Published: 15:10 EST, 9 December 2018 | Updated: 19:19 EST, 9 December 2018

The man accused of murdering British backpacker Grace Millane last week was called a 'scumbag' from the public gallery as he appeared in court charged with her murder on Monday.  

The suspect, named in New Zealand court documents as Jesse Shane Kempson, 26, sat just meters away from Grace's father and uncle as they attended the first day of his trial in Auckland.  

Judge Evangelos Thomas told Millane's family members in court on Monday: 'I don't know what to say to you at this time, but your grief must be desperate.'

'We all hope justice will be fair and swift and ultimately brings you some peace.'

Kempson, who was charged earlier this week with the 22-year-old's murder, was said to have looked gloomy as he sat in the dock having been led in wearing blue police overalls.

After 90 minutes standing in the courtroom, Kempson was led back to the cells by prison officers as a man in the gallery shouted 'scumbag'.

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Jesse Shane Kempson, 26, (right) rides alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday as he was named by court documents as Grace's suspected killer
Jesse Shane Kempson, 26, (right) rides alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday as he was named by court documents as Grace's suspected killer

Jesse Shane Kempson, 26, (right) rides alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday as he was named by court documents as Grace's suspected killer

The body of Grace Millane, 22, (right) was discovered on Sunday as police earlier arrested a 26-ear-old suspect over the crime
The body of Grace Millane, 22, (right) was discovered on Sunday as police earlier arrested a 26-ear-old suspect over the crime

The body of Grace Millane, 22, (right) was discovered on Sunday as police earlier arrested a 26-ear-old suspect over the crime

Flowers left at the crime scene where her body was discovered on Sunday 
Flowers left at the crime scene where her body was discovered on Sunday 

Flowers left at the crime scene where her body was discovered on Sunday 

Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. Grace's family appeared in court on Monday alongside her suspected killer
Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. Grace's family appeared in court on Monday alongside her suspected killer

Grace Millane (left) with her mother Gillian. Grace's family appeared in court on Monday alongside her suspected killer

Court documents seen by Sky News showed the suspect had been living at the same hotel she disappeared from last Saturday. 

Grace, 22, from Essex, was last seen with the man at the CityLife hotel in Auckland at about 9.40pm on December 1 - where they were both staying.

Grace's body was discovered by New Zealand police on Sunday morning after a nationwide search and international outcry over her disappearance.  

It remains unclear how the pair met or what the possible motive for the killing might be. 

Police took the 26-year-old suspect into custody earlier this week and have charged him with Grace's murder.   

Kempson cannot currently be named in New Zealand or on social media due to a court order. 

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said her body was found near Scenic Drive, which leads through the Waitakere Ranges, a popular parkland west of Auckland.

Grace's body was found about 10 metres from the side of the road, hidden in bushland, and is believed to have been taken there in a rental car that was recently found nearly 300 kilometres (186 miles) away in Taupo.

Det Insp Beard said investigators had 'located a body which we believe to be Grace'.

The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane was found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges outside Auckland
The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane was found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges outside Auckland

The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane was found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges outside Auckland

Friends and relatives, including Grace's brother Declan (pictured here with his sister), shared heartwarming tributes as news broke that her body had been discovered
Friends and relatives, including Grace's brother Declan (pictured here with his sister), shared heartwarming tributes as news broke that her body had been discovered

Friends and relatives, including Grace's brother Declan (pictured here with his sister), shared heartwarming tributes as news broke that her body had been discovered

British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured), had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning
British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured), had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning

British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured), had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning

Since early this morning a scene examination has been underway in a section of bush on Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges. Police need to hear from anyone who saw this Toyota Corolla hatchback rental car
Since early this morning a scene examination has been underway in a section of bush on Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges. Police need to hear from anyone who saw this Toyota Corolla hatchback rental car

Since early this morning a scene examination has been underway in a section of bush on Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges. Police need to hear from anyone who saw this Toyota Corolla hatchback rental car

'The formal identification process will now take place, however based on the evidence we have gathered over the past few days we expect that this is Grace,' he said at a press conference near the scene.

'Obviously this brings the search for Grace to an end. It is an unbearable time for the Millane family and our hearts go out to them.' 

Ms Millane, from Essex, graduated from university in September and had embarked on a year-long worldwide trip.

After visiting Peru she arrived in New Zealand on November 20 and had been 'bombarding' her family with photos as she kept in near-daily contact with her parents and brothers via social media.

Her father, David Millane, said they last had contact on the day she vanished.

Police said they had received dozens of calls to a hotline and more than 25 staff were working on the case, trawling through hours of CCTV footage to trace her movements.

Her brother also posted a heartfelt tribute to his sister on Sunday as news broke of the discovery of her body.

Declan Millane, wrote out the lyrics to You Are My Sunshine, as police confirmed their worst fears.

A body was found about 10m from the road in bushland, and police believe it is Ms Millane's body 
A body was found about 10m from the road in bushland, and police believe it is Ms Millane's body 

A body was found about 10m from the road in bushland, and police believe it is Ms Millane's body 

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said despite the fact formal identification hasn't yet taken place they believe it is the body of Grace
Detective Inspector Scott Beard said despite the fact formal identification hasn't yet taken place they believe it is the body of Grace

Detective Inspector Scott Beard said despite the fact formal identification hasn't yet taken place they believe it is the body of Grace

Pictured: Police have been standing guard on a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges
Pictured: Police have been standing guard on a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges

Pictured: Police have been standing guard on a section of Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges

The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges
The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges

The scene where the body of British tourist Grace Millane has been found by New Zealand police in the Waitakere Ranges

The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland three weeks ago
The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland three weeks ago

The 22-year-old, originally from Essex in south-east England, travelled to Auckland three weeks ago

David Millane, Grace's property developer father, broke down in tears as he begged for help finding his backpacker daughter after she vanished in New Zealand 
David Millane, Grace's property developer father, broke down in tears as he begged for help finding his backpacker daughter after she vanished in New Zealand 

David Millane, Grace's property developer father, broke down in tears as he begged for help finding his backpacker daughter after she vanished in New Zealand 

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