A documentary about the heartbreaking murder of Grace Millane is airing soon

·3-min read
Photo credit: Rex
Photo credit: Rex

The world was shocked and saddened by the news of 22-year-old backpacker Grace Millane's death at the hands of her Tinder date, Jesse Kempson, who later claimed in court that her murder had been a sex game - involving strangulation - gone wrong. Whilst a New Zealand jury took just five hours to deliver their guilty verdict against Kemspon, his attempt at a defence sparked a wave of protests against the 'rough sex defence', resulting in a law change that prohibits its use.

Now, ITV are set to re-examine the tragic case as part of a new true crime series called The Social Media Murders. The series is due to air later this year, some time in autumn, on ITV 2 and has been described by the channel as a "modern real life story-telling that puts the victim and their loved ones central to the narrative and draws on in the moment material harvested from social media accounts and mobile phone footage."

It's also reported by The Mirror that the series will be a three-parter, focussing on a different story each time, involving a young person who sadly lost their lives, in part due to apps or the online world. Other stories that will feature include that of Alex Rodda, an openly gay teenager who met an older farmer on Facebook, who groomed him and then later ended Alex's life.

Photo credit: Fiona Goodall - Getty Images
Photo credit: Fiona Goodall - Getty Images

Molly McLaren's heartbreaking murder will also feature – her ex-partner, Joshua Stimpson, used social media to track down Molly's whereabouts and stabbed her over 75 times in her car outside of a gym.

The name of Grace's killer was initially not allowed to be reported in the press, as he faced a furthertwo further trials involving other women (one of whom was a former partner), however, Sky News reports that the order was lifted by New Zealand's Supreme Court at the end of last year, after Kempson lost an appeal against his murder conviction and sentence.

Grace's killer is now serving a minimum of 17 years in prison for his crime. His most recent appeal for a reduced sentence was rejected.

In response to Kempson's request, the Court of Appeal issued a statement saying: "In their verdict, the jury showed that they were sure that if the applicant did not intend to
kill the deceased, he at least intended to inflict bodily injury which he knew was likely
to result in death.

"The most that could be taken from the applicant's account is that Ms Millane may have consented to the application of manual pressure to her neck for the purposes of sexual gratification. There is nothing in what the applicant told the police to suggest that she consented – or he believed she consented – to the infliction of bodily injury of a kind likely to kill her."

It added that for these reasons, albeit slightly differently expressed, the Court of Appeal was "of the view the argument failed 'as a matter of fact'... We see no apparent error in this conclusion."

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