Breck Bednar: Film about grooming and murder of 14-year-old gamer shown in schools

‘Breck’s story shows how easily grooming can happen'

Adam Forrest@adamtomforrest
Wednesday 19 September 2018 12:11
Schoolboy was stabbed to death by a computer engineer in 2014
Schoolboy was stabbed to death by a computer engineer in 2014

A film about murdered schoolboy Breck Bednar, whose killer groomed him using internet gaming, will be shown in secondary schools to highlight the dangers of meeting people online.

The 14-year-old was stabbed to death by computer engineer Lewis Daynes in Grays, Essex, in 2014.

The judge who sentenced Daynes to life imprisonment described it as a “sexual and sadistic” killing.

The victim’s mother, Lorin LaFave, will appear in the film — called Breck’s Last Game — which is a collaboration between Essex, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Surrey police forces.

It will be shown at schools across these counties in lessons about grooming over coming months.

“Breck’s story shows how easily grooming can happen,” Ms LaFave said.

Featuring the 999 call made to police by the killer, police said it would carry a 15 certificate if it were to be shown in cinemas. However, it will not be released publicly until spring 2019.

Daynes, aged 18 at the time of the offence, admitted the murder at Chelmsford Crown Court and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 25 years in 2015.

Ms LaFave said: “He met the predator through an online friendship group and would have been flattered to have an intelligent, older mentor helping him expand his gaming skills.

“At the time, I believed the offender was older than he was because he was so controlling and manipulative, even with me, so it’s important for young people to realise not only can predators lie about their age, where they live or who they are online, they can also be a similar age to the victim."

Ms LaFave said people who wish to prey on children are not always the “creepy old guy”.

She explained: “Breck’s murder came after international media coverage surrounding the Rochdale and Rotherham cases, where the victims were all girls.

“His version wasn’t the ‘typical’ type of grooming people had heard about in the news.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of the fact that boys can be groomed too. His story shows even regular schoolboys can make mistakes if they aren’t educated to recognise the signs of grooming and exploitation.”

Ms LaFave previously told The Independent that lessons about the dangers of sexual abuse and online grooming should be compulsory part of the school curriculum.

Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, has recommended children as young as five should be taught about the threats.

Additional reporting by Press Association