Kempson, 26, was called a “scumbag” by a member of the public gallery as he left the dock at Auckland District Court on Monday, during a trial for the murder of 22-year-old backpacker Grace Millane. The accused killer sat just a few metres away from Ms Millane’s family during the 90-minute trial, and did not speak during the court proceedings. Speaking to Ms Millane's family in court, Judge Evangelos Thomas said: “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.”
Kempson will appear in court again on January 23, and will remain in custody until then.
New Zealand police discovered Ms Millane’s body on Sunday morning, following a nationwide search for the missing backpacker.
The 22-year-old travelled in New Zealand on a solo trip after visiting Peru in November, but alarms were raised when she failed to contact her family.
Ms Millane was last seen with Kempson at CityLife hotel in Auckland on December 1 at 9.40pm local time, a day before she went missing, CCTV footage revealed.
Grace Millane's alleged killer, Jesse Kempson, appeared in court on Monday (Image: Facebook)
Minutes before the pair were seen together, Kempson commented on Ms Millane’s Facebook photo, calling her “beautiful and radiant”.
Prosecutors claim Kempson killed Ms Millane that night, or the day after on 2 December - which