Grace Millane’s accused killer pleads not guilty to her murder

A man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane in New Zealand has pleaded not guilty to her murder. 

Miss Millane’s body was found in bush on the outskirts of Auckland a week after she went missing in the city’s centre on December 1, the day before her 22nd birthday.

She was last seen arriving at the Citylife Hotel with Jesse Kempson, who was arrested and charged with her murder.

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A man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured) in New Zealand has pleaded not guilty to her murder

A man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured) in New Zealand has pleaded not guilty to her murder

A man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane (pictured) in New Zealand has pleaded not guilty to her murder

Kempson, 27, denied the charge when he made his first appearance in the High Court at Auckland on Wednesday.

His trial will begin on November 4 and is expected to last at least three weeks.

Other than making his plea, the accused remained silent during the brief hearing and was remanded in custody.

Jesse Kempson, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Grace Millane

Jesse Kempson, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Grace Millane

Jesse Kempson, 27, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Grace Millane

He will next return to court in April.

Kempson made an appearance in a lower court in December. He was identified by international media but can’t be named in New Zealand because his legal appeal to keep his name secret is ongoing and will be argued in court next month. 

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Miss Millane, from Essex, was on the second leg of a year-long world tour after graduating from the University of Lincoln. After visiting Peru, she arrived alone in New Zealand in November.

A large-scale search was launched on December 5 after she uncharacteristically failed to reply to birthday messages from family. 

On December 8 police found Grace’s body dumped on a roadside, launched a murder investigation, and arrested Kempson.

He appeared in court for the first time two days later, where he looked glum and didn’t speak a word. No plea was entered on his behalf.

As he was led from the gallery, someone shouted ‘scumbag’ at him.

Miss Millane’s funeral service was held in her hometown of Brentwood last week.

Father David (far left) said that while daughter Grace (far right) was only in New Zealand for a few weeks, in some small way 'she will forever be a Kiwi'

Father David (far left) said that while daughter Grace (far right) was only in New Zealand for a few weeks, in some small way 'she will forever be a Kiwi'

Father David (far left) said that while daughter Grace (far right) was only in New Zealand for a few weeks, in some small way ‘she will forever be a Kiwi’

Kempson, 27, denied the charge when he made his first appearance in the High Court (pictured) at Auckland on Wednesday

Kempson, 27, denied the charge when he made his first appearance in the High Court (pictured) at Auckland on Wednesday

Kempson, 27, denied the charge when he made his first appearance in the High Court (pictured) at Auckland on Wednesday

 

 

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