Shana Grice was just 19 when she lost her life at the hands of her stalker despite having complained to police on several occasions in the months leading up to her murder.


The way Sussex Police handled Shana's complaints is now the subject of an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation.


Michael Lane, 27, a tyre and exhaust fitter, of Thornhill Rise, Portslade, was convicted at Lewes Crown Court of the murder  at her home in Chrisdory Road, Portslade, on Friday 25 August 2016. The IPCC investigation will look at contact between the killer and his victim in run-up to her death. He was jailed for life on Thursday 24th March and told he must spend at least 25 years behind bars.


Speaking on behalf of the National Stalking Consortium, Suzy Lamplugh Trust Chief Executive Rachel Griffin, said: “Shana Grice’s death at the hand of her stalker Michael Lane is all the more tragic because it might have been prevented.


“We welcome Lane’s conviction today and hope that it gives some small comfort to Shana’s family and loved-ones, who have suffered such a terrible loss.


“If police officers had been given comprehensive training in how to identify the signs of stalking they might have been able to prevent her death because they would have been able to identify the motives behind Lane’s behaviour as well as just the behaviour itself. Instead Shana was fined for wasting police time by making a false crime report.


“This appalling case brings into sharp focus the urgent need for specialist stalking services to be rolled out across the country and for comprehensive training to be provided.


“We hear complaints like Shana’s all the time on the National Stalking Helpline. Sadly, Shana’s story is far from isolated, yet fewer than one per cent of reported stalking cases result in a conviction and that just isn’t good enough.


“One in five women and one in 10 men will be victims of stalking in their lifetime and everyone should be confident that when they report stalking behaviour to the police that they are taken seriously.


“It is tragic that it takes a senseless death of a young woman to highlight the pressing need for stalking to be taken far more seriously.


“In Shana’s case, the fact that she did not reveal straightaway that she had previously been in a relationship with Michael Lane was taken as proof that her stalking case was not credible.


“We hope this tragic case serves as wake-up call to police forces across the country and that comprehensive training and specialist stalking services are introduced as a matter of urgency.”

Lane is due to return to court for sentencing on Thursday 23rd March.

(ends)

Notes to Editors:

Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up by the parents of Suzy Lamplugh, a 25-year-old estate agent, who disappeared without trace in 1986 after she went to meet an unknown client. Her client, named in her office diary as Mr Kipper, has never been traced and her body has never been found. But she was declared dead seven years after her disappearance. Evidence has since surfaced that she was the victim of a stalker.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust works to highlight the misery that stalking can cause and to call for tougher sentences for convicted stalkers. One in five women and one in five men will be victims of stalkers at some point in their lifetimes. Suzy Lamplugh Trust believes specialist police units and training  should be rolled out to forces across the UK.

For more information call Henry Ellis on 020 709 10014 or email henry.ellis@suzylamplugh.org