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Grice family

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Shana Grice was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who stalked her

An ex-PC has defended his decision to drop an investigation into a man who went on to kill his former partner.

Trevor Godfrey told a misconduct hearing he believed Shana Grice had accused Michael Lane of harassment as a “smokescreen” to hide an affair.

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

Mr Godfrey denied applying a stereotype that she could not be at risk from Lane due to a previous sexual relationship.

Mr Godfrey, who retired from Sussex Police in 2017 after 29 years, is accused of failing to adequately investigate Miss Grice’s claims.

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

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Sussex Police

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Michael Lane was convicted of murdering Miss Grice in 2017

Giving evidence in Lewes, Mr Godfrey said: “She lied to police three times.

“It was only right I advised her she cannot keep lying in police statements and getting people arrested for it.”

The panel previously heard Miss Grice had initially failed to disclose she and Lane had been in a relationship.

Mr Godfrey said there was no sign of Miss Grice being harassed, something she previously accused Lane of, before admitting to police that him being outside her house late at night was because she had arranged the meeting behind the back of her then-boyfriend.

He said: “She would be signing her texts [to Lane] with five kisses. This is not harassment. It was a smokescreen to disguise her affair.”

Pulled hair

He said there was therefore “no reason” to supply Miss Grice with safety advice, adding: “There was nothing there to suggest she was in any form of danger whatsoever.”

Lane, 27, was jailed for a minimum of 25 years in 2017 for murdering Ms Grice.

Mark Aldred, representing Mr Godfrey, said his client was right to consider Miss Grice’s misleading statement when deciding to recommend no further action be taken against Lane after he allegedly grabbed his ex-girlfriend’s phone and pulled her hair.

The two-day misconduct hearing is due to end later.

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