A jilted ex-boyfriend has today been found guilty of slashing his ex-girlfriend’s throat and torching her bedroom after refusing to accept their break-up.
Shana Grice, 19, made repeated calls to cops over fears she was being followed by Michael Lane, 27, up to a month before she was killed – but it was deemed “low risk,” the jury was told.
Today Lane was found guilty at Lewes Crown Court of slipping into her home last August and slitting her throat before torching her room after she had rekindled her romance with ex-boyfriend Ashley Cooke.
Police received a number of complaints about Lane’s behavior towards Miss Grice, but on one occasion she ended up with a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time.
Cops said she had “caused wasteful employment of police by making a false report” when she reported Lane for pulling her hair and grabbing her phone in March last year, and no further action was taken against him.
A two-week trial heard that Lane refused to accept their break-up and decided no-one else could be with her, telling a friend: “She’ll pay for what she’s done.”
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There were claps and cheers in court when the jury returned its verdict after just over two hours of deliberation.
On July 9, Lane was cautioned by police and told to stay away from Grice after he stole a back door key from her home and let himself in, before watching her sleeping and leaving, the court heard.
Grice hid under her duvet as she heard footsteps and then a man breathing in her room last July 9. When she looked out of her window, she saw Lane walking away from her home.
Grice confronted Lane about the incident in a secretly-recorded phone call played to jurors, telling him his behavior was “just weird”.
A tearful and apologetic Lane told her: “Obviously something’s not right in my head and I don’t know what it is but I know I need to find out or be locked up or something.”
The following day, Grice reported to police receiving around seven calls from a withheld number, including one with heavy breathing, which she believed was related to the incident the day before.
Grice was told that there were no further lines of inquiry and the case would be left on file.
Then on July 12, just over a month before she was killed, Grice reported to police being followed by Lane, who placed a tracker device on her car.