Parents of murdered Brighton teenager lose High Court battle for full inquest

Shana Grice

The parents of a Brighton teenager murdered by her ex-boyfriend, have lost a High Court bid for a full inquest into her death. 

Shana Grice, who was 19, was killed by Michael Lane at her home in Brighton in August 2016.

She had reported Lane, who was jailed for life after being found guilty of her murder, to officers five times in the six months before her death but was fined for wasting police time.

At a remote High Court hearing earlier in December, lawyers representing Ms Grice's mother Sharon Grice challenged the decision of the senior coroner for Brighton and Hove not to conduct a full inquest into her death.

They argued that a "full, independent and focused inquest" was necessary to consider whether her death could have been avoided and "how to prevent a similar tragedy happening again".

Michael Lane was found guilty of the murder of Shana Grice and sentenced to 25 years. Credit: PA

But, in a ruling on Thursday, Mr Justice Garnham concluded that the senior coroner for Brighton and Hove was right to find that the state's obligations under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines the right to life, were satisfied by previous inquiries.

He said: "In my judgment, there were here prompt, independent inquiries initiated by the state of its own motion, which were effective, both in the manner in which they established the relevant facts and in the results they achieved, which provided a sufficient element of public scrutiny of the investigation or its results to secure proper accountability and which involved the family to the extent necessary to safeguard their legitimate interests.

"In my judgment the coroner was not only entitled to find that these inquiries satisfied Article 2; she was right to do so."

Neil Hudgell of Hudgell Solicitors, who represented Ms Grice's family, said in a statement: "This ruling is hugely disappointing. It is also unfortunate coming on Christmas Eve, when thoughts naturally turn to our loved ones.

"We will now need to take some time to consider the ruling with Shana's family and decide on our next steps."