Portslade murder victim’s family slam ‘sham’ police disciplinary hearing

Posted On 31 Jul 2019 at 12:30 am

The family of 19-year-old murder victim Shana Grice have slammed the police disciplinary hearing held this week as a “sham”.

Trevor Godfrey

Miss Grice’s parents, Sharon Grice and Richard Green, spoke out after former Brighton police officer Trevor Godfrey was cleared of gross misconduct. He was guilty of misconduct but faces no further action, having retired from Sussex Police.

The couple said last night (Tuesday 30 July): “We can barely believe what we have witnessed these past two days.

The Spearhead

“The panel allowed a wholesale character assassination of our daughter, who is obviously not here to defend herself.

“We are disgusted and feel thoroughly let down by the process. There is no justice.”

They spoke out after former Brighton police officer Trevor Godfrey was found guilty of misconduct at the two-day disciplinary hearing in Lewes.

But Mr Godfrey, who retired in December 2017, was cleared of gross misconduct and will face no further action.

He was accused of failing to investigate properly a complaint that Michael Lane, 27, had assaulted 19-year-old Shana Grice in March 2016.

Five months later, in August 2016, Lane killed Miss Grice at her home in Chrisdory Road in Mile Oak.

Mr Godfrey – then a PC based in Brighton – concluded that Miss Grice’s complaints were dishonest and recommended that Lane face no further action.

In an 84-second phone call Mr Godfrey gave her strong words of advice.

After the March incident, Sussex Police issued Miss Grice with a £90 fixed penalty notice and fine.

Shana Grice

Miss Grice’s parents issued a statement through their representatives, Hudgell Solicitors.

It said: “We can barely believe what we have witnessed these past two days.

“The panel allowed a wholesale character assassination of our daughter, who is obviously not here to defend herself.

“Godfrey’s testimony only proved his discriminatory attitude, even accusing Shana of coercing Lane. We can barely believe what we have heard.

“Godfrey stereotyped Shana from the outset. She didn’t stand a chance. At Lane’s criminal trial, Mr Justice Green recognised this yet the panel have chosen to it.

“To add insult to injury, we have been subjected to aggressive and bullying tactics from Godfrey’s representatives yet we were the ones accused of trying to intimidate him.

“The misconduct charge is a joke and the hearing a sham.

Michael Lane

“Had Godfrey not retired, he would be allowed to carry on serving as a police officer. What message does this give to other officers?

“Even more importantly, what message does it send to victims?

“We are disgusted and feel thoroughly let down by the process. There is no justice.”

The family’s lawyer, Andy Petherbridge, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: “Shana’s parents have been through enough and I am appalled by today’s decision.

“There were so many warning signs that were ignored by Sussex Police and our police officers must be held to a higher standard.”

Andy Petherbridge

In April, another officer, PC Jon Barry Mills, who has now resigned, was found guilty of gross misconduct for failing adequately to investigate a complaint made by Miss Grice.

She made her complaint to police after Lane let himself into her house with a stolen key and entered her bedroom.

Hudgell Solicitors said: “Had PC Mills not resigned, he would have been dismissed.

“Michael Lane was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Shana in August 2016.

“At his trial the judge, Mr Justice Green, was scathing of Sussex Police’s treatment of Ms Grice.”

A report by the Independent Office of Police Complaints (IOPC) is expected to be published soon.

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