THE family of a murdered backpacker from Wickford have welcomed the banning of a defence that "blames the victim".

Grace Millane's family have welcomed the ban on "rough sex gone wrong" defence for alleged murderers under the new Domestic Abuse Bill which was approved last week.

Miss Millane, from Wickford, was murdered by Jesse Kempson in New Zealand in December 2018, on the eve of her 22nd birthday.

Kempson, 26, claimed she died accidentally after asking to be strangled during sex, but he was convicted of her murder.

The bill includes a ban on the so-called "rough sex gone wrong" defence, aims to strengthen rules surrounding controlling or coercive behaviour, and target "revenge porn".

Miss Millane's cousin Hannah O'Callaghan told the BBC it was "truly horrendous" to hear her murderer's story in court.

She said: "It felt like Grace was on trial, yet not able to defend herself.

"We are so pleased that the government are stopping rough sex being used as a defence. It needs to be called what it really is and that's murder and you cannot consent to that.

"Families won't have to sit and listen to only one side of the story, while the victim is re-victimised and doesn't get to tell their side."

Personal details about Miss Millane's sex life were discussed in court and reported across various outlets.

The case led to increased concerns about the defence and a campaign group called We Can't Consent To This was formed to put pressure on ministers to ban it.

Ms O'Callaghan added: "Hopefully this will mean no other family has to go through this and men will stop using this defence as an excuse to kill women, knowing they can get a lesser sentence."