STALKER Michael Lane was reported to police by 13 other young women after he was charged with murdering Shana Grice.

Officers investigated all the claims against the 27-year-old mechanic but none resulted in prosecution, The Argus can reveal.

Complaints were made about incidents which are said to have taken place in the three years leading up to the teenager’s murder.

But one woman alleged she had been bothered by Lane over a period of 10 years.

The reports are to be investigated as part of a domestic homicide review launched by Brighton and Hove City Council in the wake of Miss Grice’s death - the first in the county since 2014.

Police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne said this would look at any “deficiencies” in how all authorities involved handled reports about Lane.

The news comes as charities called for victims to be taken seriously during National Stalking Awareness week.

Lane, of Thornhill Rise, Portslade, was handed a life sentence last month for killing 19-year-old Miss Grice at her home in nearby Chrisdory Road, on August 25.

His trial heard of an escalating pattern of stalking including installing a tracker on her car and stealing a key to creep into her bedroom while she slept.

When it emerged Lane had been charged with her murder in September, more women - who are all understood to live in Brighton and Hove - reported him for his “behaviour towards them”, a police spokesman said.

This included Elle May. The 21-year-old from Mile Oak spoke out about her ordeal after Lane was convicted of murder.

She said she regretted not reporting him earlier and wondered if it would have prevented her death.

She claimed he would send her pictures of her bedroom window and texts saying he was watching her before seeing him parked outside her house.

Police said there was “no evidence of any specific criminal offence” in some of the reports.

The time limit of six months for legal proceedings in such cases had expired in others and some victims did not support prosecution.

But the force refused to disclose any more information and said they did not feel there was any “overriding public interest” in doing so.

Ms Bourne said the reports “absolutely” represented the difficulty and the challenge faced with prosecuting such cases.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into how the force handled complaints about Lane continues.


ONE of Michael Lane’s alleged victims said she endured unwanted attention since she was ten years old.

Elle May said she first met him during a camp at Hangleton Community Centre Guides group. He was nearly seven years older and part of the Rangers group and helped out with activities.

She said he seemed like a “normal kind of guy” but during the camp he started acting strangely.

She said: “We would sit around the camp fire in the evenings and I would catch him watching me out the corner of his eye. When we were on outings he would offer me a lift.”

She heard nothing for two years but when she was nearly 13 she claimed to see him driving near her home.

She said: “I thought nothing of this until he would pull up next to me while I was walking and ask if I needed a lift home. I said no. This would happen on numerous occasions.”

When she was 16 she claimed he sent her Facebook messages asking if she wanted to meet and have a drink or go for a drive. She said she refused and blocked him before receiving a Snapchat request six months later in which he apologised for “freaking her out”.

Later he is said to have propositioned her for sex in exchange for money and she used to receive Snapchat pictures of her own house with the caption “I can see you’’. She said: “I looked out my window and there he was parked up in his van. I didn’t respond and blocked him. He then created a new Snapchat and re-added me and apologised.”

She told how she would be in the Mile Oak pub with her boyfriend and would receive messages which said he was lucky to be with her and made crude requests.

“I would get weird messages like ‘You shouldn’t be with him you should be with me’. It got to the point where I didn’t want to leave my house because he lived so close to me. I told him I was not interested in him. After that we never spoke again.”

Thinking back on the events which then took place after her encounters – that Lane killed another girl of a similar age – she said: “I still can’t believe it now when I think about it. I wish I had [come forward earlier] because I possibly could have stopped what happened.”

Miss May made the brave decision to speak out after Lane’s conviction. But it has now been revealed her story is one of 13 other allegations made to police about the 27-year-old mechanic.

The claims support research by stalking charities that perpetrators often have more than one victim and can become serial attackers.

All the young women came forward after news broke that Lane had been charged with Miss Grice’s killing. The incidents were all investigated but police and prosecutors did not proceed with any charges. They were not disclosed in open court as part of Lane’s murder trial.

A police spokesman said: “The reports were investigated and fully considered by the police, the CPS, and prosecution counsel and were notified to the trial judge.”

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said the prosecution did not raise the complaints as part of its case against Lane because he did not dispute stalking. Their case was solely based on proving he was guilty of murder.

She said the cases were not prosecuted because “the time limit for prosecution had passed by the time the reports were made and some complainants did not wish to support a prosecution”.

The reports will form part of the first Domestic Homicide Review held in the county for three years. The review will look at Miss Grice’s death and the 13 other claims to decide whether all public bodies like councils, health services, police and other organisations properly handled any threats or concerns raised. The results are likely to be published in the autumn.

  • Additional reporting by Robbie Mann


FAILURE to take action on stalking could lead to an escalation in violence and potentially death, a study of more than 350 homicides suggests.

The results from the six-month study, published by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to mark National Stalking Awareness Week, has revealed a strong correlation between stalking and killings.

Criminologists found the behaviour was present in 94 per cent of the cases they studied and surveillance, including spying, was recorded 63 per cent of the time.

Concerning behaviour had escalated in 79 per cent of the examples. The research also found victims were controlled, isolated and threats to kill them were made. Some 85 per cent of homicides took place in the victim’s home.

Shana Grice had reported Michael Lane for stalking and he went on to murder her in her home.

Dr Jane Monckton Smith, a former police officer turned criminologist, found that in almost every case the killer displayed the obsessive, fixated behaviour associated with stalking.

With the trust, she called on professionals across the criminal justice system to review their approach to assessing risk so the 1.1 million people who are victims of stalking every year can be better protected.

She said: “Sadly it is too late for the women and children who formed part of our research so we need to do justice to their memory by acting earlier, when stalkers are demonstrating these behaviours, rather than waiting for escalation which can have tragic results.”

“Practically every case we looked at featured examples of the obsessive, fixated behaviour that typifies stalking.

“Understanding the motivation behind these behaviours and the risk that they present is profoundly important.”

Trust chief executive Rachel Griffin said: “Stalking is an obsession which can increase in risk and severity and needs to be addressed. Acting on what are currently considered to be minor, unrelated incidents, but which are driven by a malicious intent which could later put the victim at great risk, could help to save lives.”

  • See tomorrow's Argus to learn of the changes Sussex Police have made since Miss Grice's murder as part of our coverage to mark National Stalking Awareness week.