The first of two police officers to face disciplinary hearings over the failure to properly investigate Shana Grice’s complaints she was being stalked by the man who would go on to murder her has been found guilty of gross misconduct.
PC Mills, who has now resigned, was accused of failing to adequately investigate a complaint Shana made on July 9, 2016 after Michael Lane let himself into her house with a stolen key and entered her bedroom.
PC Mills interviewed him after he was arrested, but failed to ask him about the many other incidents of stalking and harassment on his file because he failed to review the case notes.
This was despite having been trained on stalking and harassment interviews just a day beforehand.
Sussex Police laywer Louise Ravenscroft told the disciplinary panel PC Mills had admitted giving Lane the “benefit of the doubt”.
The interview lasted just 12 minutes.
Responding to the panel’s decision, the family’s lawyer, Andy Petherbridge of Hudgell Solicitors said: “It is clearly the right decision. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change anything for Shana and is too little, too late.”
Shana’s family declined to make a statement.
Another officer, PC Trevor Godfrey is accused of concluding Shana’s complaints were dishonest and warning her she was wasting police time after failing to investigate her complaints properly. His hearing was originally scheduled for last Tuesday but has now been postponed to a date yet to be fixed.
Sussex Police have not released first names for either of the officers.
A third unnamed officer faces internal misconduct action.
Shana Grice, 19, reported Michael Lane to police for stalking five times in 2016 but instead of stopping him, they instead fined her for wasting police time after he showed them photos of them together on his phone.
Lane, who had briefly dated Shana when they worked together at Brighton Fire Alarms, went on to slit her throat at her home in Portslade and attempt to burn her body as it lay on her bed.
It later emerged that 13 other women had reported him to police for stalking.
PC Godfrey faces two charges. The first is that on 25 March 2016, he failed to adequately investigate allegations of harassment and stalking, including allowing an opportunity for the victim Ms Grice to respond to comments made by Mr Lane in police interview.
He is accused of concluding that Ms Grice was dishonest and failing to treat her as a victim, instead warning her about wasting police time.
The second charge relates to the same day, when he is accuse of failing to comply with Sussex Police policies regarding domestic abuse, resulting in Shana not being treated as a victim of domestic abuse.
PC Mills, is firstly accused of failing to adequately investigate Shana’s allegations of harassment and stalking which she made on 9 July 2016, and failing to review all available evidence.
Then between 13 and 15 July, he is said to have failed to respond to another report Shana made on 12 July, not contacting her or updating her about the incident.