Shana Grice: PC Who Ignored Murder Victim's Stalking Complaints Is Named

Allegations of gross misconduct were proven against Jon Barry Mills.
Shana Grice was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2016
Shana Grice was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2016
PA Ready News UK

The full name of a police constable who ignored repeated stalking reports made by Shana Grice before she was murdered has been published on a register of officers banned from duty.

PC Jon Barry Mills left Sussex Police on May 10 after failing to “adequately investigate allegations of harassment and stalking, including a failure to review all possible evidence”, the College of Policing said.

In an entry published on its Police Barred List this week, the body added that Mills “failed to respond to a report of harassment and stalking made by victim and failed to contact or update her regarding the reported incident”.

The publicly accessible register includes details of all officers who have been dismissed over misconduct.

It is published to improve “integrity” and “accountability” as well as to “further the transparency” of the disciplinary system, the College of Policing said.

At a tribunal earlier this month, a reporting restriction was imposed which meant the constable was referred to only as PC Mills to protect his “privacy”.

Panel chairman Chiew Yin Jones said both allegations of gross misconduct were found to be proven against Mills and his actions may have “ultimately contributed in the circumstances which contributed to the tragic death of Ms Grice”.

Had he not resigned, he would have been sacked, the panel said, as they barred him from ever working as a police officer again. But he can keep his pension.

The “frightened” 19-year-old reported ex-boyfriend Michael Lane to officers five times in six months but was fined for wasting police time.

The case was closed before her pleas for help were properly investigated.

On August 25 2016, Lane slit her throat before trying to burn her body. He was jailed in 2017 for a minimum of 25 years.

Mills, who resigned from the force a week before the hearing took place, denied failing to investigate two of her reports just over a month before she was killed.

Grice told officers she was too scared to leave her house as a result of Lane’s stalking.

On July 9 2016, Grice rang police after discovering Lane had stolen a house key and crept into her bedroom while she slept.

He was arrested but Mills, an officer for 16 years, did not review case notes about their history before questioning him, even though he was experienced in interviewing suspects almost every day.

Mills questioned Lane for just 12 minutes before cautioning him, despite having attended a training course about stalking, harassment and interview techniques just a day earlier.

When questioned, he told the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) the case was not his priority and he found Lane’s story “plausible” even though he was “alarmed” by his behaviour.

No-one from the force ever called Grice back after she reported Lane again days later on July 12 for following her in his car. She stopped reporting him after that.

At the hearing the press were banned from reporting the officer’s full name, with force lawyers saying it was “not in the public interest” to do so.

On its website, The College of Policing said the barred list had been “introduced as part of the Government’s commitment to improving police integrity,” and to “increase the accountability of those who are dismissed from policing, ensuring that these individuals are not able to find positions within policing again.

“They also aim to further the transparency of the police discipline system by publishing details of these individuals in order to raise public confidence in the police.”

Last week an unnamed sergeant who supervised the initial investigation on Lane was given a written warning after allegations against him were proven during a private misconduct meeting, a force spokesman said.

The IOPC decided this officer’s conduct did not warrant being discussed in a public hearing so recommended the matter was dealt with behind closed doors.

Pc Trevor Godfrey, who retired in December 2017, is due to face a public misconduct hearing after being accused of finding Grice to be “dishonest” and failing to “treat her as a victim, instead warning her about wasting police time”.

Three more officers and three staff have already been handed “management advice and further training”, while no further action will be taken over the other five officers investigated.


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