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'I stood next to an atrocious killer without knowing'

A businessman has told ITV News of his "shocking realisation" that the "polite" and "perfectly normal" man he met in a chance hotel encounter turned out to be Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood.

Michael Petersen said Masood "politely stepped aside" and smiled when the pair both looked for help from reception at Brighton's Preston Park Hotel, where the killer stayed on the eve of Wednesday's car and knife attack in London.

"There was nothing for me to notice anything untoward," Mr Petersen said, with only one harmless feature of Masood's appearance standing out from the brief exchange on Tuesday morning.

Michael Petersen encountered Khalid Masood at Brighton's Preston Park Hotel. Credit: ITV News

"He had very white teeth, I remember that very clearly," he remembered.

Mr Petersen, who uses the hotel to regularly conduct interviews for work, said the everyday nature of the encounter is what has left him dumbfounded.

"The shocking realisation of this is that I stood next to an atrocious killer without knowing, without having any inkling what he was about to plan to do," he said.

"The shocking realisation that also comes (is) someone can be what you would call normal (and) is firmly on his way to do something absolutely atrocious."

  1. National

First picture of Khalid Masood before Westminster attack

Khalid Masood (circled red) pictured with his school football team. Credit: Huntley School

The first picture of Khalid Masood before the terror attack in Westminster, which killed four people, has emerged.

The black and white image shows him smiling as he posed with his football team at Huntley School for Boys in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

He is captioned Adrian Ajao, which was his birth name, prior to changing it after converting to Islam.


  1. National

Masood used his real identity during 'normal' stay at hotel

Khalid Masood's hotel room at the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton. Credit: ITV News

This is the hotel room where Westminster attacker Khalid Masood stayed before heading up to commit the atrocity in central London.

Masood gave staff no suspicion of his intentions as he happily checked in and out of the Preston Park Hotel in Brighton on the eve of Wednesday's attack.

The 52-year-old, who had used aliases during his adult life, also made no attempt to hide his identity during the stay, supplying the hotel with his accurate name and address.

The 52-year-old stayed in the hotel on the eve of the Westminster attack. Credit: ITV News
Hotel staff said he checked in and out of the £40-a-night hotel without any suspicion. Credit: ITV News

Grice Murder: Police criticised by family and judge

The judge who presided over the Shana Grice murder trial criticised Sussex police saying when she sought help "she received none."

Michael Lane must now serve a life sentence with a minimum term of 25 years.

Miss Grice, 19, was found with her throat slashed in her smoke-logged bedroom at the bungalow she shared with two housemates in Brighton.

Lane, 27, waited until she was home alone before murdering her last August 25.

It emerged during a two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court that police were told Lane pulled Miss Grice's hair and grabbed her mobile phone last March 24.

But while no further action was taken against him, Miss Grice received a fixed penalty notice for wasting police time after not disclosing she had been in a relationship with him.

"Shana was treated as the wrongdoer and having committed a criminal offence, and Michael Lane was treated as the victim. There was seemingly no appreciation on the part of those investigating that a young woman in a sexual relationship with a man could at one and the same time be vulnerable and at risk of serious harm. The police jumped to conclusions and Shana was stereotyped."

– Mr Justice Green

The judge said the incident meant police treated all further complaints by Miss Grice with "scepticism".

When further stalking incidents took place, she felt her complaints would not be taken seriously by the police, he said.

Police received five reports about Lane's behaviour towards Miss Grice in the months before he killed her and then torched her room in Chrisdory Road, Brighton.

Miss Grice's mother Sharon Grice hit out at Sussex Police, saying she believed her daughter's murder could have been prevented if they had listened to her fears about him.

"We firmly believe Shana would be alive today if Sussex police had acted to protect Shana on the many occasions she complained about Lane rather than issue her with a fine for wasting police time. We await the outcome of the IPCC investigation."

– Statement from Shana’s parents Sharon Grice and Richard Green

Sussex Police apologised to Miss Grice's family and referred themselves to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which has launched an inquiry.

"When we looked at the circumstances leading to Shana's murder, we felt we may not have done the very best we could."

– Deputy Chief Constable Bernie O'Reilly

A two-week trial heard Lane refused to accept the break-up with Miss Grice and decided no-one else could be with her, telling a friend: "She'll pay for what she's done."

In the months before she died, Lane stalked Miss Grice, the trial heard. He put a tracker device on her car and received notifications via a phone app every time it moved.

Mechanic Lane, of Thornhill Rise, Portslade, claimed he discovered her body then left in shock. But jurors convicted him of murder after just over two hours of deliberation on Wednesday.

Life sentence given for the murder of Shana Grice

Michael Lane, was convicted of Shana Grice's murder and has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The jury took only two hours to convict the 27-year-old of murder after their deliberation on Wednesday.

Miss Grice, 19, was found with her throat slashed in her smoke-logged bedroom at the bungalow she shared with two housemates in Brighton.

Lane waited until she was home alone before murdering her last August 25 after she decided to rekindle a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Ashley Cooke.

Sentencing Lane at Lewes Crown Court, Mr Justice Green said he would serve a minimum of 25 years.

“We are very relieved that the man who killed our precious Shana, our only child, will serve a long and deserved prison sentence. Michael Lane is a dangerous and obsessive man. The police and prosecution had statements from other girls to whom Lane had in the past shown similar controlling behaviour. These witnesses came forward after his arrest but were not permitted to be called at trial for evidential reasons. Lane showed his arrogance and cowardice at trial by pleading not guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence. In his contemptible defence he sought to blame innocent men for his actions. He compounded this by relying on the wholly inadequate police assessment of risk to Shana to suggest he was no danger to her."

– Statement from Shana’s parents Sharon Grice and Richard Green

Michael Lane to be sentenced for murdering Shana Grice

Shana Grice and Michael Lane Credit: Sussex Police

The man found guilty of murdering Shana Grice will be sentenced at Lewes Crown Court this morning.

Michael Lane attacked his former lover in Brighton last August - just five months after police fined her for wasting their time when she complained about his stalking. He was found guilty yesterday.


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Moment three shots fired caught on camera

The moment shots were fired outside Parliament was caught on camera.

The footage shows people rushing out from the grounds before three shots ring out.

Two people are confirmed to have died after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster before being shot by armed officers.

A woman died as the attacker drove across Westminster Bridge and a police officer stabbed at the Houses of Parliament has also died.

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