Serial killer-obsessed mother who slit the throat of her on-off boyfriend then stabbed him 17 times in the chest is convicted of his murder
- Shaye Groves, 27, previously claimed she killed her partner in self-defence
- She also said she had grabbed the dagger by mistake during a heated row
A serial killer-obsessed mother who slit the throat of her on-off boyfriend and then stabbed him 17 times in the chest has been convicted of murder.
‘Manipulative and jealous’ Shaye Groves now faces life in jail for flying into a rage and stabbing Frankie Fitzgerald 22 times after seeing he had messaged a teenager.
Groves was ‘obsessed’ with her 25 year old lover’s ‘performance in the bedroom’ and the couple’s sex life involved bondage, dominance, submission and masochism, a court heard.
Jurors were told the 27 year old, who rang a friend ‘giggling’ after killing Mr Fitzgerald and showed his body saying ‘I’ve done him’, had previously threatened to make his life ‘a misery’ by leaking videos of alleged sexual abuse.
However, the court heard recordings of the pair – alleged to have started using cocaine together in the months before the killing – showed the sexual acts had in fact been ‘consensual’, after they discussed their safe word ‘red light’.
Shaye Groves, 27, has been found guilty at Winchester Crown Court of the murder of on-off boyfriend Frankie Fitzgerald
When Mr Fitzgerald died of ‘catastrophic’ blood loss from his injuries, possessive Groves then proceeded to make a ‘false alibi’ for herself, inspired by tips from true crime documentaries to avoid getting caught.
The mother of one tried to ‘cover her a***’ by messaging her friend after the attack, saying Mr Fitzgerald had left her address after the incident on July 17 last year – while his dead body lay wrapped in a duvet on bin bags in her room.
Today, at Winchester Crown Court Hants, a jury found Groves guilty of murder after deliberating for nearly 18 hours at the end of a five week trial.
Wearing a denim jacket with a large pentagram emblazoned on the back, and with tattoos visible on her face, Groves smiled as she was taken down to the cells after the unanimous verdict.
Addressing the jury, The Honourable Mr Justice Tim Kerr, said: ‘It just remains for me to thank you for the dedication and work you have done on the case.
‘This has been a long and difficult case in which you have heard, at times, distressing evidence.
‘I propose to exclude you from jury service for a period of eight years from today. I personally as a judge and institution am deeply grateful to you. My heartfelt and profound thanks.’
Shaye claimed during her trial that she stabbed Frankie Fitzgerald (pictured) in self-defence
Jurors were also given option to be excluded from jury service for the next eight years.
Groves, of Havant, Hants, will be sentenced next week.
During the trial, jurors heard ‘pagan’ Groves bought a Celtic dagger, later used to stab Mr Fitzgerald, for her ‘rituals’ and that it ‘strengthened spiritual connections’.
As well as posters of killers such as Rose West and Ted Bundy, Groves had a coffin-shaped bookcase and four ‘decorative’ knives – with depictions of film villains Chuckie, Jigsaw and Pennywise on – which she and Mr Fitzgerald used for ‘knife play’ in the bedroom.
She was such a horror movie fan she gave housemate Lauren White the nickname of Chucky – a vicious serial killer from the Child’s Play slasher film franchise.
A friend of Groves’ said the two had ‘joked’ about Mr Fitzgerald ending up ‘on the wall’ as there was ‘space for him’.
Opening the case, prosecutor Steven Perian KC, said of Groves and Fitzgerald: ‘Their sex life involved bondage, dominance submission and masochism – BDSM.
‘It is likely she was obsessed with Frankie Fitzgerald because of his performance in the bedroom.
‘The prosecution case is the defendant is a manipulative, possessive and jealous woman.
‘The killing is very likely to have been a crime of passion driven by her jealousy.’
Afterwards Groves video-called her friend, Vikki Baitup, ‘giggling’ and ‘admitted’ the killing.
Telling jurors about the call, Mr Perian KC continued: ‘The defendant went to the bedroom three times and showed the body of Frankie Fitzgerald covered in a duvet.
‘She said they were lying in bed together and Frankie Fitzgerald was asleep.
‘The defendant was going through his messages and saw he had been talking to a 13 year old girl and while Mr Fitzgerald was asleep, she put a dagger in his throat waking him up.
‘He moved and they started fighting.’
He continued: ‘While the defendant was on the video chat, she could be seen cleaning the bookcase with blood on it. She showed a book and showed blood spots.
‘Ms Baitup recalls at some point during the video chat, hearing Ms White say ‘I’m going to crack’,’.
‘The defendant told Ms White, ‘You can’t crack you’re an accomplice, you put the bin bags under his body’.’
The court heard Groves had sent a message to Ms Baitup to create a ‘false alibi’ in order to ‘cover her arse’ where she claimed Mr Fitzgerald had ‘walked out’ on her and that it was ‘over’ between the two of them.
On the phone call with Ms Baitup, Groves explained her logic, saying Mr Fitzgerald had been ‘suicidal anyway’ and that ‘it was alright, they’ll just assume he has gone off and committed suicide’.
‘When asked what she was going to do with the body, the defendant replied ‘it’s alright, we are going to bury it in the back garden”, Mr Perian said.
A pathologist’s report revealed Mr Fitzgerald was stabbed 17 times to the front of the chest, twice to other chest areas and three to times to the neck – resulting in his death after ‘multiple perforations of heart and lungs’ and ‘catastrophic blood loss’.
Footage from officers who arrived at the scene was played to the court, who reported an ‘incredibly strong’ smell of bleach in the bedroom.
Groves could be heard saying: ‘He tried to attack me, it’s not the first time, I’ve got video footage of him raping me and beating me.’
The couple had a camera set up in the bedroom which captured them having sex – the recordings of which Groves was said to use to blackmail lovers and claimed Mr Fitzgerald had been abusing her.
However, Mr Perian highlighted a recording that showed the activity was ‘consensual’ because they had spoken about their ‘safe word’ ‘red light’.
The court heard ‘cunning and astute’ Groves had spoken with friends about getting Mr Fitzgerald ‘down a dark alley’ and ‘get away’ with murder and had been violent towards Ms White, only calming down when she ‘saw a bit of blood’.
Mr Perian said: ‘The defendant had many gangster books, like Charles Bronson and has serial killer pictures in frames on her wall and watches murder documentaries.
‘The Crown say by reading about and watching these she was familiar with: a crime scene, how to create a false narrative and how to create a false alibi.’
Addressing Groves’ claims of self-defence, Mr Perian said: ‘If the killing was in self defence, why go about setting such an elaborate false alibi for yourself? Why didn’t she call the police immediately? Why did she clean up the crime scene? Why did she move the body?
‘It was a cunning ploy – nothing was affecting her mind at that time.’
Giving evidence Groves said she had the serial killer posters because she thought they looked ‘pretty cool’ and had attacked Mr Fitzgerald because she thought he was going to ‘strangle me to death’ after she saw he had been messaging a teenager and he attacked her.
She said: ‘I couldn’t breathe – I couldn’t even scream. I realised he wasn’t going to let go and I feared for my life.
‘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.
‘His chest wasn’t moving. It was just the noise. When that happened I realised 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 will be sentenced at Winchester Crown Court next week.
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