Sussex

Shana Grice: PC insists murdered woman 'wasted' his time

Shana Grice smiling Image copyright Grice family
Image caption Shana Grice was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who stalked her

An ex-PC has defended his decision to warn a teenager for wasting police time, weeks before she was murdered by her ex-boyfriend.

Trevor Godfrey told a misconduct panel that he found inconsistencies in Shana Grice's account of being harassed by Michael Lane.

The 19-year-old reported Lane to police five times in the months before she was murdered in Brighton in 2016.

Mr Godfrey is accused of failing to adequately investigate.

He retired from Sussex Police in 2017 after 29 years.

A report commissioned after Miss Grice's death found that stalking and harassment offences were not being properly investigated by Sussex Police.

'Bombshell'

Mr Godfrey told a hearing in Lewes he had taken the "lenient view" of issuing Miss Grice with a formal warning after it emerged she initially failed to disclose the pair had been in a relationship.

He said it was "a bit of a bombshell" when Lane told him the pair had been in a sexual relationship for several months.

He said messages between the two also revealed the reason he was in an alleyway next to her home in February 2016, after previously being warned by police to stay away from her, was because he was summoned there by Miss Grice.

Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Michael Lane was convicted of murdering Miss Grice in 2017

Mr Godfrey told the hearing: "Absolutely, she did waste my time. I arrested someone as a result of her evidence on a false allegation. She had committed a criminal offence."

He said his colleague took the decision to issue Miss Grice with a £90 fine.

"His decision, which I don't disagree with, was that she should not be able to get away with making false statements."

The misconduct hearing is due to resume on Tuesday.

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