‘I’m just not right in the head’ – jury hears recording of Portslade murder defendant apologise to victim

Posted On 09 Mar 2017 at 1:50 pm

The Portslade man accused of murdering 19-year-old Shana Grice told her: “I’m just not right in the head.”

In a phone conversation recorded weeks before she was killed, Michael Lane apologises for stealing her back door key and letting himself in and coming into the frightened teenager’s bedroom.

The recording was played to the jury at Lewes Crown Court this morning (Thursday 9 March) after Miss Grice’s two housemates had given evidence.

In the recording Miss Grice said: “One question that’s really bugging me, why did you take the key in the first place?”

Lane, 27, of Thornhill Rise, Portslade, said: “I wanted to see you and properly talk to you. And I knew you wouldn’t let me.”

Miss Grice told him: “That’s not good enough. It’s putting us in … you could’ve flipped at any point.”

He said: “No, I wouldn’t have flipped.”

She said: “What about if I took someone home or something and then you came in and saw that I was with someone else … You had no right at all.”

Lane, who denies murder, said: “I know I didn’t.”

Shana Grice

Shana Grice

The court was told that she was scared and had pretended to be asleep when he let himself in at about 6am on a Saturday morning last July. Lane is accused of murdering her by slitting her throat in August.

She told him that he should “apologise to the girls” she lived with, adding: “It’s just so wrong and so out of order. You could have done anything.”

The court was told that she had pretended to be asleep when he let himself in at about 6am on a Saturday morning last July. Lane is accused of murdering her by slitting her throat in August.

She said: “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.

“I don’t think sorry’s going to cut it this time. I really don’t.”

He promised: “I won’t contact you again.”

And she said: “I think that’s for the best.”

He said: “I know I’m just not right in the head. I’m just not right in the head. If I was, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have done that, would I?”

Michael Lane

Michael Lane

She said: “Well, maybe you need to get help then. Maybe you need to do something about it and stop crying and getting all upset about it.”

He said: “I just don’t know what to do… I know I’ve got a problem … I just don’t want to be told that I’m mad.”

She said: “Well don’t do mad things then.”

He said: “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.”

He arranged to return the back door key to Miss Grice at her home in Chrisdory Road, in Mile Oak.

When he arrived the police were there and he was arrested and cautioned.

Earlier Miss Grice’s housemates Emma King and Angela Stebbings gave examples of Lane’s obsessive behaviour.

But they admitted that they had been unaware for months that Miss Grice had been having a relationship with Lane while also seeing her boyfriend of a couple of years Ash Cooke.

Lewes Crown Court

Lewes Crown Court

The deception included complaints to her bosses at Brighton Fire Alarms where Lane worked with Miss Grice and her two housemates.

But after the deception came to light, Miss Grice left the company. Lane also left shortly afterwards when he was spotted at Miss Grice’s home when he had told his bosses he was ill.

He was working as a fire alarm testing engineer – but the tracker on his van showed that he had been spending time at Miss Grice’s home when he should have been working.

Simon Russell Flint, for the defence, asked Angela Stebbings whether she had been aware of Lane being let in to Shana’s room by the bedroom window. She said no.

He said: “You told the police: ‘We were really surprised that she was seeing him after everything that had happened … I realised that they’d become more than friends.’

“You wrote to the police: ‘We realised that she hadn’t been truthful with us.’”

But Miss Stebbings said: “I had seen her tyres let down and they were definitely flat.”

Mr Russell Flint said: “She was giving you accounts that suggested that he was the one who was pestering her and it wasn’t reciprocated at all, that she hadn’t any interest in Michael Lane at all.”

But they had exchanged affectionate messages during their relationship, he said.

Lane denies murder. The trial continues.

  1. Rolivan Reply

    Should comments be allowed whilst the Trial is on?

    • Frank le Duc Reply

      Provided they follow the usual rules – not illegal, defamatory or abusive, preferably on topic and not threatening or offensive. There is greater sensitivity during a trial – so as not to prejudice the jury – and if comments risk breaking the relevant laws, we will have to remove them. Fortunately, most of our commenters seem to have an innate respect for the values underpinning these rules anyway and I hope that this will continue to be the case.

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