Pictured: Man, 26, accused of murdering British backpacker in New Zealand as he ...

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This is the face of the man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane – and who was called a 'scumbag' from the public gallery this morning as he appeared in court charged with her murder.

Jesse Kempson, 26, sat just yards away from Grace's family – believed to include her millionaire property developer father David and an uncle – as they attended his first appearance at the District court in Auckland.

Judge Evangelos Thomas told Grace's family members: '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.'

And early today New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made an emotional apology on behalf of the country to Grace's family.

'Your daughter should have been safe here, and she wasn't, and I'm sorry for that,' she said.

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Jesse Kempson, seen here in his Facebook profile image, was remanded in custody accused of murdering Grace Millane 

Jesse Kempson, seen here in his Facebook profile image (left), and playing softball in 2010 (right), was remanded in custody accused of murdering Grace Millane 

Kempson, 26, is pictured here alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday, in an image obscured in accordance with New Zealand law

Kempson, 26, is pictured here alongside a policeman on his way to court on Monday, in an image obscured in accordance with New Zealand law

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

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

Flowers left at the crime scene by members of the public paying their respects where her body was discovered on Sunday morning

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

An emotional New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern apologised this morning on behalf of her nation to Grace's family

An emotional New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern apologised this morning on behalf of her nation to Grace's family

Kempson, whose family live in Wellington and who was charged at the weekend with the 22-year-old's murder, looked gloomy as he sat in the dock having been led in wearing blue police overalls.

After 90 minutes standing in the courtroom, he was led back to the cells by prison officers as a man in the gallery shouted 'scumbag'. Kempson didn't speak during his appearance and a plea was not entered on his behalf.

Court documents seen showed the suspect had been living on the same road in Auckland as the hotel Grace disappeared from last Saturday.

MailOnline can reveal Kempson was in contact with Grace in the hours before she vanished.

On Saturday December 1, he replied to a Facebook photograph of the Briton, describing her as 'beautiful, very radiant'. Prosecutors claim he killed her on that Saturday or the day after, which was her 22nd birthday.

Grace, 22, from Essex, was last seen with a man at the CityLife hotel in Auckland at about 9.40pm on December 1.

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

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

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 Sunday 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 Sunday 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

TIMELINE OF MISSING BACKPACKER MURDER PROBE

November 20: Grace Millane arrives in New Zealand from Peru. She had been in nearly daily contact with her family.

November 30: Ms Millane posts her last tweet saying 'I think travelling has changed me I just brought some blue jeans.'

December 1: Ms Millane is seen at the CityLife Hotel, in Auckland, with a 'male companion'

December 2: The 22-year-old's birthday. Her family do not hear anything from her, which is unusual behaviour. Just before noon: A red Toyota Corolla hatchback is hired from a central Auckland rental firm

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