THE mother of murdered British backpacker Grace Millane has broken her silence to deliver a powerful message to her daughter’s killer.
British backpacker Grace Millane, 21, was brutally murdered while on holiday in New ZealandPA
AP:Associated PressDevastated parents Gillian and David’s lives were ‘destroyed’ by their daughter’s killer[/caption]
Grace was last seen alive going back to her Tinder date’s hotel room in December 2018
APJesse Shane Kempson was sentenced to life in prison with 17 years non-parole[/caption]
Kempson, then 28, brutally murdered his Tinder date Grace then hid her body in a forest, where it lay undiscovered for eight days.
He claimed they were engaged in consensual “rough sex” when she died.
The sentenced to 17 years behind bars without parole after he lost his final appeal against his murder conviction.
killer wasSpeaking this week, Gillian said: “I don’t think about him, I don’t care what happens to him.
“He came into our life and destroyed our family. I don’t care about his name, I don’t care about him.”
She told the Extraordinary Ordinary podcast that the trial in 2019 was “horrendous” as she had to sit in a courtroom for days “while they’re annihilating your daughter”.
University of Lincoln graduate Grace was only spending two weeks in New Zealand following six in South America – with hopes to travel to Thailand, the Philippines, and Australia – when she met Kempson.
CCTV cameras captured the pair embracing in bars across Auckland on December 1, 2018, the eve of Grace’s 22nd birthday.
The Essex girl was last seen leaving a lift to go to Kempson’s room at the CityLife Hotel.
Her corpse was stuffed in a suitcase and buried in a shallow grave with a blanket of mud shovelled on top in the Waitākere Ranges.
Kempson was caught on CCTV using a porter’s trolly to wheel two suitcases into a lift.
Tragically, Grace’s dad David Millane was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2019, during the first three-week trial of Kempson.
The cancer spread to David’s brain and he died in November 2020.
Gillian said: “That was another disastrous Christmas and New Year.”
Following her own battle with breast cancer, which she beat shortly before Grace’s murder, and the two shocking deaths, the heartbroken mum said she was “in such a dark, lonely place and I pushed everybody away”.
She explained: “Trying to find your path on this road of grief is a very difficult thing to do.
“You get to a point when you realise that you’re the only one that can get you out of there.”
Gillian is now heavily involved with charities including White Ribbon, which aims to prevent violence against women and girls.
She said: “I can say that my toes are always in the darkness and sometimes my feet and waist, but my head is probably more in the sun now.”
A new documentary, The Murder of
, will scrutinise the night of the 21-year-old’s death and Kempson’s subsequent trial.It will focus on the brute’s defence, which felt to Gillian like her daughter was in some way at fault for going back to Kempson’s hotel room, and the reaction from social media.
Filmmaker Helena Coan told Sky News: “People don’t really understand the prevalence of the rough sex defence.
“Men are getting away with the most heinous, manipulative, planned, pre-meditated crimes. And they are saying, basically, ‘she asked for it’.
“It’s scary to see how lawyers use this defence and how juries still buy into this idea, that a woman can consent to being strangled to death.”
In October 2020, Kempson was convicted on eight charges – including unlawful sexual connection, threatening to kill, assault with a weapon and male assault female – related to offending against a former partner.
He was convicted a month later of sexually violating another female British tourist in an unrelated incident.
Kempson received an 11-year prison sentence over the new charges to be served concurrently with his life sentence.
The killer failed to have two other convictions dismissed earlier this year.
He claimed the women in the case exaggerated their evidence of sexual violence, but the
of Appeal in Auckland determined there was no excessive sentence or miscarriage of justice.CCTV cameras captured Kempson smuggling Grace’s body out of his hotel home
Grace was only spending two weeks in New Zealand after six weeks in South America
Tragically, Gillian lost her husband David shortly after Grace was murderedGetty Images – Getty
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