The man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane was described today as a 'blatant liar' by a former flatmate as he appeared in court on a murder charge.
Jesse Kempson, 26, once shared a flat with three journalism graduates in Auckland and he was asked to leave after just six weeks after his three female flatmates became 'uncomfortable' when he was present.
One of the flatmates, who asked not to be identified, now lives in London but said she was sickened when she learned of the accused man's identity.
'It almost made me ill' she said. 'I remembered him immediately from when we all shared a flat together in Auckland in 2016.
'He was a fantasist and a liar. I caught him out big time and it made the three of us very unhappy that he was in our home.'
Suspect: 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
Charged: 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
Ms Millane had been travelling New Zealand when she disappeared on December 1. Her body was found more than a week later, on Sunday morning
The woman, 23, said Kempson arrived at their flat in Auckland after responding to a flat share advertisement and paid the first month rent in advance as was required.
'He told us that his parents were big in buying up property and restaurants in Australia and we believed him' she said.
'But then he later told us that he was negotiating to buy a restaurant in The Viaduct in Auckland. But I knew that had to be a lie.
'The restaurant is owned by my family and I knew my relative wasn't selling up.'
The housemate said this startled her and the other two women and they felt more uncomfortable when Kempson would drink heavily, although he was never aggressive or made any sexual advances towards them.
'His chest would come out and he would be brash. His persona would change completely and he would be speaking with a different voice.'
The three women, who had not asked for references prior to welcoming him into the flat, said after being asked to leave, Kempson said his mother had died and he needed to return to Australia anyway.
'Beautiful and radiant': Kempson, using his first and middle-name on Facebook, described Ms Millane as 'beautiful and very radiant' just hours before she disappeared
The body of Grace, 22, pictured right with her family, was discovered on Sunday afternoon as police arrested a 26-year-old suspect over the crime
The remains of Ms Millane were found some ten yards from the road. Pictured: A forensics officer at over the scene on Sunday
'We later found out that she was alive and he stayed on in Auckland.
'He left without paying a month's rent he owed us. And two days later he came back into the flat while we were out.'
The woman said a bigger shock came when she visited her family restaurant and found Kempson there.
'He was working as a bar man and I could see he was a fantasist who built his life on small connections he made.
'By working in my relative's restaurant, he had created this story about buying it for his family. But he was just lying.
'When he saw me, he just walked out and nobody heard from him again.
'I feel so sorry for Grace. It made me feel sick this morning when I heard.'
Eerie: Ms Millane's final Instagram post was a harrowing watercolour painting of a multicolour skull
The post was captioned 'Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead' and was uploaded just a few weeks before she went missing
It comes as it was revealed earlier today that Grace Millane posted a chilling final picture of one of her works of art containing a reference to 'death' just weeks before her murder in New Zealand.
The backpacker, 22, from Essex, posted a picture on her Instagram account of a watercolour human skull with the caption: 'Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead'.
The quote is a reference to the theme song of the hit TV show, Pretty Little Liars, which follows the lives of four girls after their friend vanishes.
Just weeks after uploading the cryptic social media post Grace vanished from her hotel in Auckland and was found dead on Sunday in the countryside outside the city.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in - Black read more
Grace, who was a keen artist having studied advertising, posted the image on her page