Sunday 8 December 2019

'Children aren't born evil' - Mother of murder victim Stephen Lyne launches anti-violence foundation

Lotte Lyne
Lotte Lyne
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A mother whose 17-year-old son was murdered has launched a foundation to teach children about violence as children are “not born to be evil”.

Killarney teenager, Stephen Lyne (17) was murdered yards from his home when another teenager stabbed him in the back in 2009.

“Stephen’s life ended in an instant because of a drama started by a 15-year-old teenage girl that culminated in a 17-year-old teenage boy driving a knife into my son’s back while another boy watched idle and without emotion,” said his mum Lotte Lyne.

During the murder trial in 2012 Tralee Criminal Court heard that Stephen was stabbed and killed because of a false claim of rape that had been levelled against him by a teenage girl.

Shane Regan (17), who died in an accident before the trial, stabbed and killed Stephen Lyne in retaliation over the rape allegation made by 15-year-old Jessica Klok .

Klok (18) admitted in court that she had made up the rape allegation against Stephen Lyne and that she had "communicated" that lie to Shane Regan.

Stephen’s mother Lotte said her son died not knowing why his friends had “betrayed him”.

“His last words were “why”? The effect of what happened to my son has not just changed my life for ever but his dad, his sisters, brothers, grandparents and extended family has been affected beyond words.

“How can three teenagers commit such horrendous crime? I am a firm believer that they were not born to do evil, they were born innocent babies into this world to grow up and accomplish great things to do their families, community and wider world proud. Where did it go wrong and what caused it to go wrong?”

Lotte launched the Stephen Lyne Foundation to try and prevent “innocent children growing into people capable of violence”.

“We want to make our community a safer place for our young people. I am committed to making sure my son did not die for nothing.

“What could we have done that would have changed the course of events that ended with me carrying my son to his last resting place and three other teenagers life’s destroyed for ever?”

She hopes to introduce the anti-violence programme into all schools in Killarney but needs to raise funds for instructors.

Some €20,000 is needed before September to introduce the scheme into three schools in Killarney with the hope of extended it to all schools in the county by 2018.

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