Baby-faced predator admits killing oil millionaire's teenage son
The grieving mother of a 14-year-old boy who was murdered by a baby-faced online predator has warned parents that more needs to be done to protect children on the internet.
Breck Bednar was stabbed to death after travelling from his home in Caterham, Surrey to Grays, Essex to meet up with a fellow computer gamer, Lewis Daynes, 19.
Daynes, who was described as computer genius, had groomed Breck - the son of a millionaire oil trader - online through a gaming community he ran.
Once he was in his flat he murdered the fellow teenager in what the prosecution claim was a “sadistic and sexually motivated” attack.
The computer engineer, who looks much younger than his 19-years, had initially denied murder, but dramatically changed his plea as he was about to stand trial at Chelmsford Crown Court.
He will be sentenced in January, but speaking outside court, Breck’s mother Lorin Lafave, warned that online predators posed a very real danger to youngsters everywhere.
Breck's family are also suing the Surrey and Essex police forces over alleged failings in their handling of the case, after it was claimed they warned officers that their son was being groomed, months before he was killed.
The Surrey force has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
A spokesman said they are cooperating with the ongoing investigation.
A spokesman for Essex police said: "Essex police have been notified of a civil claim against the force and it would be inappropriate to comment further on that matter at this time.”
Fighting back tears, Ms LaFave, whose son was killed on her birthday, said: "I want Breck's tragedy to help open the eyes of everyone to recognise the dangers of online predators. It is a very real danger today. We all need to look after each other.
"We have set the Breck Bednar Memorial Foundation to help raise money and awareness to help protect all of our children from danger. I'll never stop missing my Breck."
She added: "I am heartbroken and lost without my Breck and I will never be the same. He was murdered on my birthday this year and so much of me died as well.
"My poor triplets lost not only their adored big brother but also their mother. Breck was my amazing, clever, beautiful boy.
"A beautiful son, who we will miss forever. He had so much potential he will never now reach - he had so much to give to this world."
Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, told the court the murder had been “sexually or sadistically motivated”.
He went on: "The prosecution case was that at the time of his murder Breck was aged 14. The law makes specific provision for the murder of a child involving sexual or sadistic motivation.
"The prosecution have advanced the case on that basis and anticipate doing that again on the date of sentence."
Breck's American father, Barry Bednar, a wealthy oil trader was also in court for the hearing.
There was a stunned silence in court as Daynes, who was wearing a grey suit and blue tie, pleaded guilty to one charge of murder of a child.
Simon Mayo QC, mitigating, said: "For our part we would not be in the position to provide my lady with the assistance she needs [to sentence] for a few weeks."
Police were called to a flat in Grays, Essex, on February 17 this year following reports that a man had been stabbed.
When they arrived they found Breck with stab wounds to his neck. Despite the efforts of the police and paramedics he died at the scene.
After the brutal killing Ms LaFave spoke of her fears that a "predator" had preyed on her son via a secretive gaming forum.
Miss LaFave, a US-born teaching assistant said: "Breck was a clever, good and helpful boy. Like most teenagers, socialising, computers and games were what he enjoyed.
"The problem was a predator who was trying to control his ideology about religion, government, family, education. Breck looked up to him because of his interesting manner and computer skills.
"Breck couldn't see the bad and when I pointed out his obvious lies, they were overlooked by Breck, his friends, and unfortunately the police.
"Breck may have been shy when we saw cousins over three years ago, however he is actually very calm, clever and confident young man.
"Unfortunately too confident and independent to believe my warnings."