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February 07, 2023
A 26-year-old woman from Portsmouth, England, appeared in court last week in connection with the murder of her boyfriend in mid-July of 2022.
Shaye Groves, of Botley Drive, Leigh Park, appeared at Winchester Crown Court charged with the murder of 25-year-old father Frankie Fitzgerald, of Halstead Road.
It is believed that on July 17, 2022, Shaye Groves murdered Frankie Fitzgerald in the bedroom of her home on Botley Drive, Leigh Park, a home which she shared with friend and housemate, Lauren White.
Groves has been accused of stabbing the man to death while he slept, allegedly laughing about it afterwards in a video call with a friend, Vikki Baitup, where she showed the victim’s bloodied body in her bed. Reports also state that she showed Baitup blood splatter on her books and bookshelf.
According to Groves, she was looking through Mr. Fitzgerald’s phone while he slept, when she came across snapchat messages he had been receiving from a 13-year-old girl, causing her to “snap” and attack the man while he slept.
She told the court: "I was straightaway angry, upset and confused... it tipped me over the edge."
After allegedly discovering the messages between Fitzgerald and the 13-year-old girl, Groves told the court that she had threatened to publish the videos of him raping her online. She said this sent Fitzgerald into a rage, and in response he grabbed her by the throat and shoved her up against the headboard of the bed. She told the court that she couldn’t breathe and her vision was becoming blurry, so in self-defence, she grabbed the nearest object and struck Fitzgerald in the throat with it. She went on to describe how the victim stopped moving and a bubbling sound emitted from his neck. Groves claims that she began stabbing the man in the heart “to stop the bubbling.”
Groves also admitted in court that the pair can consumed alcohol and taken cocaine on the night of the murder.
Autopsy would later reveal that the man had suffered 22 stab wounds- 17 stab wounds to the front of his chest, two elsewhere in the chest area, and three times in the neck.
The victim suffered massive blood loss, and trauma to the head and chest. His lungs and heart had been struck with a sharp-edged object multiple times.
Shaye Groves has been portrayed in the media as a serial killer-obsessed true crime fanatic and has been accused of using her knowledge of true crime from books and TV, to clean up the scene and allegedly create a false alibi, texting Ms. Baitup after the murder telling her that she and Fitzgerald had split and that he had “walked out on her.” According to reports on the case, Groves had hoped that the victim would be considered missing and presumed to have committed suicide, however, she purportedly had plans to bury Fitzgerald in the back garden of her home.
The pair had been in an off-again-on-again six month relationship, which Groves told the court was extremely abusive. Text messages she had received from Fitzgerald were read out before the court, wherein the victim told Groves, “You’re mine and only mine,” and threatened to “paralyse” her and “hang” her. Groves admitted that she had been in abusive relationships in the past and had only been in one relationship that didn’t turn out to be abusive.
Around the time she had received the messages, she had shared them in group chats with her friends, who worried for her safety, voicing that they were afraid Fitzgerald would harm her.
Groves regularly updated her friends on the issues between herself and Fitzgerald. One of her friends, Vikki Baitup, received sexually explicit videos from Groves, of herself and Fitzgerald. These videos were played before the court, and when asked what the purpose of sending them to Baitup was, Groves answered: “to show he was taking things too far and how volatile things were and how things had progressed between me and him.”
She broke up with Fitzgerald around June 11, 2022, and a few days later, reconnected with an ex-boyfriend. In group chats with friends she messaged back and forth about wanting to hurt Fitzgerald, however told the court that she wanted to emotionally hurt him for how he had treated her, but had never intended to physically harm him.
Police body cameras are said to show Groves explaining that Fitzgerald had tried to attack her. They also show her telling officers that she had video proof that the victim had acted violently towards her.
In court this week, Groves has argued that Fitzgerald’s death was in self-defence. Although she admitted that the couple were into BDSM and “rough” sex, she has accused the deceased of rape and abuse. The court were made to watch videos that Groves had recorded on a camera in her bedroom, where Fitzgerald can be heard saying: “That was a little bit rapey, wasn't it?"
In response to the tape being shown before the court, Groves stated: "I believe he knew exactly what he had just done- he had anally raped me."
The pair often recorded themselves having sex, Steven Perian KC, prosecuting, argued before the court that Groves had edited clips "out of context," and said the unedited video footage at its original length contradicted Groves claims.
The trial continues.