Portslade man accused of murdering ex-girlfriend tells jury he found her dead then went and checked his lottery ticket

Posted On 18 Mar 2017 at 8:59 pm

The Portslade man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend, 19-year-old Shana Grice, told a jury that he found her dead and then went and checked his lottery ticket.

Michael Lane, 27, of Thornhill Rise, Mile Oak, told the jury at Lewes Crown Court that he didn’t check whether Miss Grice was alive.

He didn’t dial 999, call for help or tell a single soul, he said yesterday (Friday 17 March) from the witness box in answer to questions from his barrister Simon Russell Flint.

Instead he went and checked his lottery ticket, bought some water and dumped his trainers, having found Miss Grice’s blood on them. But he was spotted and reported.

Christmas recycling

Lane also got rid of the t-shirt that he had been wearing. After going home for a shower, he went to the dentist in Hangleton and then to work at Setyres in Burgess Hill.

At the start of his evidence Lane was asked straight out by Mr Russell Flint whether he murdered Shana Grice. He said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked Lane what he saw when he went into the bedroom of Miss Grice’s home in Chrisdory Road, Mile Oak, on the morning of Thursday 25 August last year.

Lane said: “I saw her slumped against the bed. Her back was against the side of the bed.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “How did she seem?”

Lane said: “She wasn’t moving.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you see anything?”

Lane said: “I saw blood on the bed and blood on the floor.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “What did you think?”

Lane said: “I thought she was dead.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “What did you do?”

Lane said: “I didn’t know what to do.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Were you horrified?”

Lane said: “Yes.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Shocked?”

Lane said: “Yes.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Distraught?”

Lane said: “Yes.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you touch her?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you check to see if there was any sign of life?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “You had your phone with you. Did you thinking about phoning paramedics or calling for assistance?”

Lane said: “No. I was just in shock.”

He said that there were no signs of fire or that the room had been set alight – and the former fire alarms test engineer denied dismantling the smoke alarm on the ceiling in the hall.

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Are you the person who ripped that off and left it on the bed?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Are you the person who cut her throat?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you have any white spirit or petrol?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you light a fire?”

Lane said: “No.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “What did you do?”

Lane said: “I went back to my car.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “How did you feel?”

Lane said: “Shocked.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you think of calling for help – even anonymously – there’s someone in a pretty bad way at 10 Chrisdory Road? You’d better get round there now?”

Lane said: “No.”

He said that he had bought a can of petrol the previous day but only with the intention of killing himself.

Was he depressed about his break up with Miss Grice, Mr Russell Flint asked.

No, Lane replied. He was down about the death of his grandfather. Lane said that he had tried killing himself before – in April last year – and spent a day in hospital on a drip after taking an overdose of paracetamol and ibuprofen.

He described leaving the murder scene and checking his lottery ticket at a shop in nearby Graham Avenue.

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Why do that after seeing your former girlfriend slumped against her bed, seemingly dead?”

Lane said: “Because I didn’t want what I saw to be true?”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Did you tell anyone?”

Lane said: “No.”

Asked why, he said: “I didn’t want to get the blame for it.”

Mr Russell Flint asked: “Why would you get the blame?”

Lane said: “Because of all the accusations that had been made against me.”

He had already been cautioned for stealing her back door key. The court was told that Lane had used it to let himself in and stood over her as she pretended to be asleep.

But he denied that the £60 found in his car was the same £60 withdrawn from a cash machine from Miss Grice’s account.

He said that he panicked when he heard the sirens at about the time Miss Grice’s body was found and that was when he dumped his trainers and hid his t-shirt.

He was arrested at work later that day by officers from Sussex Police and taken to the custody centre in Brighton.

As the questioning drew to a close for the day, a few members of Miss Grice’s family began to cry and some of them left court.

One shouted “murderer” at Lane as he sat impassively in the dock in a dark blue suit and white shirt with a light thin check and a dark blue tie.

Lane denies murder.

The trial was adjourned until Monday morning.

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