This story was originally appeared on TVNZ and is republished with permission
The name of the Auckland man who murdered British backpacker Grace Millane can finally be revealed as Jesse Shane Kempson.
Earlier this year the 28-year-old was sentenced to life in jail with a minimum non-parole period of 17 years, after strangling Millane to death the night before her 22nd birthday.
Until now, his identity’s been suppressed, partially due to further trials he was facing involving sex charges against two other women he met on Tinder.
We can now report that Kempson has been found guilty on all of those charges, including sexually abusing, physically assaulting and threatening to kill a former girlfriend.
In October she told the High Court: “Whenever he got angry, and something inside of him snapped, he would go straight to the kitchen, get one of those knives, and hold it to my throat.”
The woman first went to police in April 2017, seeking a protection order against Kempson.
Police kept her complaint on file and contacted her when Millane went missing 20 months later.
Last month she told the court, “I didn’t want to bring up my past again, but I also wanted the truth to be out about who Jesse is and the pattern of behaviour and how this whole thing could have been avoided. It really could have.
“I was Grace’s voice and I will be Grace’s voice,” she said.
In a separate trial Kempson was found guilty of raping a woman on their first and only date.
She told the court last month: “I was just frozen and I let him do what he needed to do so I could try and go to sleep or go home as soon as possible.”
An Official Information Act request by 1 NEWS shows Kempson has cost the taxpayer close to half a million dollars in legal aid costs for his three cases.
More than $400,000 of that is from his murder case.
Appeals are ongoing so the overall cost is not final.
It’s now been more than two years since Kempson was arrested for Millane’s murder.
Law expert Chris Gallavin said, “This is an interesting case for name suppression because normally you have name suppression in the context of protecting the identity of the victims or the family members of the perpetrator… in this circumstance, it’s actually name suppression to protect the fair trial rights of the accused”.
“At the time that the Grace Millane trial occurred, he had name suppression because they needed to protect his anonymity for the fair trial rights for the charges that were yet to come.”
However, even when Kempson elected to be tried by judge alone in his other cases, the name suppression remained.
Gallavin said, that was “because of the possibility the Millane charges might be appealed… there might have been a new trial and if a new trial a new jury would need to be pulled from the public and then the court was aware they didn’t want members of the public knowing he was to face what was quite simply a raft of charges”.
Questions are now being asked about whether a jury should be allowed to know.
Gallavin said, “It might be time to relook at that”.
Kempson’s been sentenced to 11 years in prison for his other convictions, but that will be served concurrently with his penalty for murder.
The killer’s name suppression was set to lapse last Friday, when the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal against his murder conviction and sentence.
However, the Supreme Court issued an order for interim name suppression after a last minute notice of appeal from his lawyer.
The Supreme Court today has allowed his name to be finally made public.