Cruel killer told partner his victim 'wasn't laughing in the ground' and that she was next

By Rob Kennedy & Chloe Burrell

A cruel killer used his conviction of manslaughter to frighten his partner, telling her that the man he killed 'wasn't laughing in the ground' and that she was next.

Shane Gray, 31, was locked up in 2010 for stabbing his 21-year-old victim in the heart after a conflict between their associates.

After beginning a relationship with an 18-year-old, Gray, from Northumberland, played on the fact he had taken another man's life as part of his campaign of controlling and coercive behaviour, reports Chronicle Live.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Gray knew what he was doing was wrong but "couldn't help it and he likes hurting people".

He controlled what the young woman wore, what she ate - to the extent that she became extremely thin - who she saw and choked her so frequently that she too to feigning unconsciousness to get him to stop.

His victim, who already had mental health issues and was trying to get over her mother's suicide, ended up cutting her wrists and taking an overdose during two years of hell at his hands.

Now Gray, who also admitted having sex with a 13-year-old child, has been branded a danger and jailed for seven years and eight months, plus an extended licence period of a further three years.

Gray, who had been convicted of battery in 2015 after being released from his manslaughter sentence, met the 18-year-old in 2018 and they began a relationship.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said: "In the early part of it he revealed the manslaughter conviction, involving a stabbing and the Crown say that revelation was used as a means of controlling the complainant.

"It was bound to intimidate her."

He added: "Regarding his revelation about stabbing someone, the manslaughter conviction, he would regularly say she was going to be his next victim.

"He would say 'my last victim isn't laughing in the ground'.

"Knowing he was capable of killing caused her to be more frightened.

"He told her he was on life licence to stop her calling the police.

"She knew he carried a knife and she knew he had access to machetes. All of this caused her to fear him greatly."

Gray became jealous if she went out with friends, questioned who she was seeing and why she was wearing particular clothes and even accused her of having sexual desires for her female friends, leading to her stopping socialising with them.

She enjoyed wearing designer fitted clothes but his constant criticism caused her to stop and she was only allowed to have one set of clothes, as dictated by him.

When her dad bought her some leggings, Gray complained they were too tight and forced her to change them.

She had been having counselling for her mother's suicide but she stopped going because he told her he was a trained counsellor and had done a course on it. She also stopped attending college.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said: "He controlled what she ate and told her she was fat but her sister said she was losing weight so much one could see her ribs.

"He would also force her to buy his drugs for him and when she refused he threatened her with violence.

"He was physically violent a number of times.

"He repeatedly put his hands around her throat and throttled her.

"On one occasion he grabbed her around the throat and she feels she passed out.

"So regular was his behaviour she would feign unconsciousness as being the only way he would stop."

Another time her mother blocked him when he tried to hit the teenager and he pushed the mum then grabbed his partner's throat and put her against the kitchen wall.

Things got so desperate, she cut her wrists "to give him a scare" and ended up being sectioned.

On release, she went on the Redheugh Bridge and threatened to jump and was charged with causing a public nuisance. This was eventually dropped but she was too frightened to tell the police about Gray's behaviour at that stage.

In another attack, he grabbed her by the hair and smashed her face off the kitchen door. She fell to her knees and lost a tooth and blood was coming from her mouth and nose. She was screaming and crying and he told her to be quiet.

She ended up consuming 36 codeine tablets and said she wanted to go to sleep on some nearby train tracks.

When she went home, she told him she wanted to phone the police so he smashed her phone.

She went to a phone box but he told her if she didn't return he would "snap the dog's neck". She ended the call and returned, fearing for the pet.

Police turned up and she was taken to hospital but then left, returned home and apologised to Gray.

One day, she found the courage to stand up to him on Main Street, in Seghill, Northumberland, saying to him "What's the matter do you only do it behind closed doors." He grabbed her and tried to pull her down an alley but she got away.

Mr Newcombe said Gray refused to wear a condom during sex and bullied and threatened her, saying he would post nude images of her on social media.

She finally plucked up the courage to tell police what he had been doing in June 2020.

He pleaded guilty to controlling and coercive behaviour between March 2018 and July 2020.

Judge Robert Spragg told him: "She said you made her life a misery.

"You told her you knew what you were doing was wrong but you couldn't help it and you liked hurting people.

"You have targeted young women and controlled them. You behaved in a controlling and appalling and violent manner and both victims have been significantly affected by your behaviour."

Gray, 31, formerly of North Seaton, near Ashington, Northumberland but latterly of Weaver Gardens, Coventry Road, Coventry, also admitted four offences of sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and having indecent images of a child, in separate offences.

The child said she felt she was having to keep a "dark secret" and "felt awful".

As well as the prison sentence, he was made subject to restraining orders in respect of both victims and a sexual harm prevention order.

The court heard he was in trouble and involved in gangs from a young age

Lee Fish, defending, said Gray had been exposed to "extreme levels of domestic violence " as a child.

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