A teenage girl was found dead months after being issued with a fine for wasting police time when she reported her ex-boyfriend for stalking her, a court has heard.
Shana Grice, 19, was discovered with her throat cut in her bedroom at an East Sussex address after she was attacked in August.
Her ex-boyfriend, Michael Lane, 27, is currently standing trial for her murder. He pleads not guilty.
According to a report by the Independent, prosecution lawyers told jurors that Lane had become “obsessed” with Grice after she rekindled a relationship with her previous partner, Ashley Cooke. In February 2016, she phoned the police and reported that Lane had been stalking her. She claimed he had hidden outside her house and sent her unwanted flowers. She also alleged that Lane had left a note on Cooke’s car that read “Shona will always cheat on you”.
Grice made a further report to police a month later claiming that Lane had assaulted her. He denied the allegation and provided texts that he said suggested she wanted to be in a relationship with him.
Grice was then charged with “having caused wasteful employment of police time by making a false report” for failing to tell police that Lane was her ex-boyfriend. She was then issued with a fixed-penalty notice.
The court heard that Lane stole Grice’s keys and broke into her home to watch her sleep in July 2016.
Lane was cautioned for this offence and told by police to keep his distance from Grice. However, further complaints she made about him following her and making “heavy breathing” phone calls were labelled as “low risk” by police.
The court also heard evidence that Lane had fitted Grice’s car with a tracking device.
Lane, a tyre fitter, told the court giving evidence in his defence that he wanted to know why she had ended their relationship so suddenly.
He claimed that he had sex with Grice two nights before her death. He said he was shocked to discover her body after he entered the house when he noticed that the front door had been left open.
“I saw her slumped against the bed. She wasn’t moving. I saw blood on the bed and blood on the floor,” he said.
“She was in her dressing gown. I thought she was dead. I didn’t know what to do.”
Lane said he had fled the scene in panic, without calling 999, checking if she was alive or telling anyone about the discovery. He later admitted to hiding his blood-stained trainers and that he had lied to police officers during interviews.
An inquiry into the police handling of Grice’s complaint has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and is ongoing.
The murder trial continues.