Mother tells murder trial she hit her lover in the neck with a dagger by ‘mistake’
A mother-of-one accused of murdering her boyfriend told a court she mistakenly ‘hit him in the neck’ with the dagger, having meant to grab a money box beside her bed.
True crime fan Shaye Groves is said to have used the dagger she kept next to her bed in a ‘passionate’ attack on 25-year-old Frankie Fitzgerald last year at her home in Havant.
A tearful Groves, 27, today told jurors he had grabbed her by the throat during a heated row and that she “couldn’t breathe or scream”.
The Winchester Crown Court heard that after hitting him in the neck with the dagger he fell back and ‘slid slowly to the floor’, clutching at his throat.
In an attempt to silence his gurgling, she claimed she then stabbed him through the heart after he stopped moving.
Mother-of-one Shaye Groves, 27, is accused of murdering her boyfriend and today told a court she mistakenly ‘hit him in the neck’ with the dagger
Groves denies murdering boyfriend Frankie Fitzgerald, 25, (pictured) by stabbing him 22 times
The trial has previously heard she rang a friend ‘giggling’ after killing her lover before making a ‘false alibi’ for herself, inspired by tips from true crime documentaries.
Such was her interest in murderers, Groves had framed portraits of notorious serial killers including Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer on her bedroom wall alongside ‘decorative’ daggers and a coffin-shaped book shelf.
Groves denies murdering the young father by stabbing him 22 times in a ‘crime of passion’ at her home in Havant, Hants, on July 17 last year.
Giving evidence at Winchester Crown Court, Hants, the 27-year-old said that, on the night of the attack, they had been arguing after Mr Fitzgerald suspected her of rekindling an old romance.
When they exchanged phones to check each other’s messages, she claimed she discovered a text from a 13-year-old girl which ‘tipped her over the edge’.
Groves said: ‘It tipped me over the edge. At that point I called him some really horrible names including paedo and nonce.’
She said Mr Fitzgerald then became ‘really angry’ and his ‘demeanor changed’.
Groves continued: ‘You could see it in his eyes. He grabbed me by the throat and forcefully pushed my head towards the headboard.
‘I couldn’t breathe – I couldn’t even scream. My eyes were blurry. I realized he wasn’t going to let go and I feared for my life.
A photo issued by Hampshire Constabulary showing the knife in the bathroom sink of the defendant, Shaye Groves,
Groves had framed portraits of notorious serial killers including Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer on her bedroom wall alongside ‘decorative’ daggers and a coffin-shaped book shelf
‘I reached out to grab an object on the bookcase and I hit him in the throat. I have a money box there and I thought that if I hit him with that it would get him off.
‘He rolled off (…) and he stood up and slid down the wall really slowly.
‘There was bubbling coming out of his neck when he stopped moving. I was in shock.
‘His chest wasn’t moving. It was just the noise. When that happened I realized that I had killed him.
‘I tried to stop the bubbling. I put my hand there but that didn’t do anything so I stabbed him in the heart.’
Groves said she stabbed him twice when he was on the floor.
She told the court she ‘panicked’ and called her daughter’s father, Ashley Wingham, and claimed he advised her to wrap Mr Fitzgerald’s body in plastic and to clean the walls.
She and friend, Lauren White, who was living with her at the time, then placed bin bags and shopping bags beneath his body and ‘placed a pillow over his face’, she said.
Midway through attempting to clean the room, she stopped and “decided to end her life,” she told jurors.
Shaye Groves, 27, allegedly murdered her boyfriend with a Celtic-style knife she bought for her ‘rituals’
Groves said: ‘I didn’t know what to do or how to deal with what had gone on.
‘I made a choice that when the police got involved I would go and top myself. I didn’t want my daughter to have to deal with me going to prison.
Groves admitted that, in a phone call to her friend, Vikki Baitup, shortly after the attack, she ‘lied’ and claimed Mr Fitzgerald was asleep when she stabbed him.
She said: ‘I didn’t want anyone to be right about him (to say, “I told you so”). The man is dead. I didn’t want to tarnish his reputation.
Before she had a chance to ‘say goodbye’ to her daughter and take her own life, Ms Baitup called the police who arrested Groves, she said.
Groves told the court that she had drunk alcohol and taken ‘two small lines’ of cocaine on the night of Mr Fitzgerald’s death.
She told jurors Groves would joke with friends about Mr Fitzgerald being violent with her in bed but that these jokes then ‘became reality’.
The jury was read threatening text messages from Mr Fitzgerald to Groves about what would happen if he caught her cheating.
A photo issued by Hampshire Constabulary showing the BB gun in the bedroom drawer of the defendant, Shaye Groves
The court also heard Groves had held discussions with friends about the possibility of ‘hurting’ Mr Fitzgerald.
She said: ‘I wanted him to see how badly he was treating me.
‘This is probably a bad phrase to use in this court but I wanted to stab him in the back.’
In a text to her friends, read to the court, she said: ‘If he comes for me, I won’t stop myself. I will grab whatever I can.
‘My dagger is in (the bedside drawer) right next to me.’
Asked by defense barrister Michael Goodwin KC if she was ever ‘serious about getting someone else to harm’ [Mr Fitzgerald,] Groves replied: ‘No.’
A pathologist’s report read to the court explained Mr Fitzgerald was stabbed 17 times to the front of the chest, twice to other chest areas and three to the neck – resulting in his death after ‘multiple perforations of heart and lungs’ and ‘catastrophic blood loss’.
Groves denies murder, claiming she acted in self-defense.
The trial continues.