Wednesday 26 April 2017

Jilted boyfriend 'broke into home to watch ex-girlfriend sleep and stalked her for weeks before he slashed her throat' - murder trial hears

Shana Grice who was found murdered at her Brighton home. Sussex Police/PA Wire
Shana Grice who was found murdered at her Brighton home. Sussex Police/PA Wire
Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Michael Lane arrives by van at Lewes Crown Court, where he is accused of the murder of Shana Grice, whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Tom Pugh

A jilted boyfriend said he was "not right in my head" after being confronted by his ex-girlfriend for slipping into her home and watching her sleep weeks before he allegedly slashed her throat, a court heard.

In an audio recording, Michael Lane, 27, apologised to Shana Grice, 19, and said he needed to be "locked up or something" after stealing her back door key and going into her bedroom as she slept.

Lewes Crown Court heard Miss Grice hid under her duvet when she heard footsteps approaching her bedroom and then a man breathing in her room last July 9.

When Miss Grice looked out of her bedroom window shortly afterwards, she saw Lane walking away from the property.

In the audio recording played to jurors, Miss Grice confronted a tearful Lane about his actions, telling him: "I just think it's just so wrong and so out of order.

"You could have done anything. You could have done anything else. You could've stood outside my mum's house like you used to, you could've done that, but not while I'm sleeping, that's just weird."

Michael Lane arrives by van at Lewes Crown Court, where he is accused of the murder of Shana Grice, whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Michael Lane arrives by van at Lewes Crown Court, where he is accused of the murder of Shana Grice, whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Lane replied: "Okay, look I'm sorry, yeah."

He added: "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."

Lane pledged he would not contact Miss Grice again, and she replied: "No, I think that's for the best."

Lane urged Miss Grice not to mention the incident to anyone.

Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

He was arrested and issued with a police caution the same day for taking the key.

Weeks later, on August 25, Lane allegedly waited until Miss Grice was alone in her shared bungalow before letting himself in and slitting her throat and torching her bedroom in Chrisdory Road in the Mile Oak area of Brighton, East Sussex.

Her body was found face-down on the bed in her smoke-filled room after her concerned colleagues reported she had failed to arrive at work.

Lane is accused of murdering Miss Grice after she decided to renew a relationship with her ex-boyfriend Ashley Cooke.

Prosecutors claim Lane refused to accept their break-up and decided no-one else could have a relationship with Miss Grice, telling a friend: "She'll pay for what she's done."

Jurors have heard Lane stalked her in the months leading up to the killing, and placed a tracker device on her car.

Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Ashley Cooke, the boyfriend of Shana Grice, arrives at Lewes Crown Court, where Michael Lane is on trial accused of the murder of Shana whose body was discovered at her house in Chrisdory Road, Brighton. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Miss Grice and Mr Cooke had complained about their tyres being repeatedly deflated, and of Lane turning up unannounced at places she would be, including at the supermarket.

Miss Grice's housemate, Emma King, told the court: "She said (Lane) was bothering her. He liked her and texted her and wouldn't leave her alone."

Lane also wrote to Miss Grice following their break-up, asking her to reimburse him for gifts, meals out and parking tickets he paid for during their relationship, Ms King said.

Lane, of Thornhill Rise, Portslade, denies murder.

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