Thursday, April 11, 2019

Teen Fined For 'Wasting Police Time' Before Stalker Slit Her Throat

Three police officers are facing disciplinary action after a woman who repeatedly reported her stalker ex-boyfriend was fined for wasting police time before he murdered her.

Shana Grice, 19, had asked for protection from stalker Michael Lane five times in six months before he slit her throat and tried to burn her body in August 2016.

In March that year she was fined £90 by Sussex Police for wasting their time after reporting Lane for pulling her hair and grabbing her phone - because she did not tell officers they had been in a relationship.

This was despite jealous and obsessed Lane being warned to stay away from her a month earlier, when Miss Grice first told police she was being stalked.

He had placed a tracker on Miss Grice's car so he could follow her and loitered outside her home, and it later emerged that 13 other women had reported him to police for stalking.

In July that year he used a stolen key to enter Miss Grice's bedroom in Portslade, near Brighton, in East Sussex as she slept, for which he was given a police caution.

A month later he murdered Miss Grice after learning she was in a new relationship, then set her bedroom on fire in an attempt to burn her body.

In March 2017, Lane, then 27, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years for Miss Grice's murder.

At sentencing, Mr Justice Nicholas Green criticised Sussex Police for siding with the stalker by jumping to conclusions and stereotyping Miss Grice.

Sussex Police apologised to her family and referred themselves to the police watchdog, which investigated 14 officers.

An independent report found the force's approach to investigating stalking and harassment cases was not consistent or effective.

Sussex Police have now said two officers - one retired - will face gross misconduct proceedings in front of an independent chairman at public hearings in May after disciplinary action was recommended by the police watchdog.

Another police officer will face internal misconduct proceedings, which are carried out in private.

No further action will be taken over five other officers investigated by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC), while six other force employees - three officers and three staff - have already been handed "management advice and further training".

The announcement was made during National Stalking Awareness Week.

Miss Grice's parents say the changes made by Sussex Police are "too little, too late".