Monday 18 November 2019

Listen: Police release chilling 999 phonecall as teen is sentenced to life for stabbing boy to death

Ben Kendall

Police in England have released the chilling 999 phonecall from 19-year-old Lewis Daynes, who was sentenced to life for stabbing Breck Bednar to death.

During the course of the call, Daynes outline where he stabbed the teenager in great detail.

When Lorin LaFave was told the news of her son's murder, she screamed so loud she damaged her own ear drums.

Fourteen-year-old Bednar was part of a group who played war games - such as Call of Duty and Battlefield - online. The 14-year-old's online interactions had been a cause for increasing concern in the months leading up to his death.

The controlling behaviour of Lewis Daynes, the ringleader of the group, prompted Ms LaFave to contact police. But she had never imagined her son was at risk of such a brutal killing.

It is not known exactly what happened, but within 24 hours of Daynes meeting Breck in person for the first time on February 16 last year, he had tied him up with duct tape and slit his throat.

He then sent three pictures of his dying victim to two other online friends.

Ms LaFave was told the news by phone while she was in Spain.

Lewis Daynes admitted murdering 14-year-old Breck Bednar (pictured) this week (PA)
Lewis Daynes admitted murdering 14-year-old Breck Bednar (pictured) this week (PA)

She said: "I had an impending sense of doom that day. I don't know why I felt it but I got a message saying Breck was not answering his phone and when he told me the story I immediately became alarmed.

"When I heard the news I couldn't stop screaming and my life changed for ever.

"I damaged my ears from the screaming and I suffer from a post-traumatic disorder.

"It's really difficult to sleep at night, I wake up just wondering what happened to him and what he had to go through at the end when the penny dropped.

"I wonder did he cry out "mum help". I would have done anything to protect him."

At first Breck's gaming had seemed positive.

"It wasn't just gaming it was socialising and a lot of interaction," she added.

"He was good at sports and other things but it never meant as much to him as computers - it was his passion and what he wanted to do for a living.

"I found myself thinking: this looks quite fun."

Ms LaFave had been in contact with Daynes who questioned her parenting skills and it quickly became apparent that he was dissuading Breck from pursuing other interests and seeking to isolate him.

Daynes had offered to help Breck with his career ambitions and offered access to a better gaming server for members who pleased him by doing as he said.

The December before the killing, the family and that of another gaming friend met and discussed concerns about the unhealthy control Daynes was trying to exert.

Both boys agreed to stop communicating with Daynes and Breck's computers were taken away for a few days.

Ten days later, Ms LaFave contacted Surrey Police to report her concerns.

"Lewis would speak in a very controlling manner and sounded older than he claimed," she said.

"A lot of things about him didn't add up. He claimed he had worked for the US government which just didn't make sense for somebody of his age.

"I thought that he was old and possibly trying to groom Breck for gay sex.

"He would tell Breck not to do so much with his family and Breck became more surly."

Unbeknown to the family, Breck and Daynes continued to communicate.

On January 21, Daynes bought duct tape and condoms - something which police now say suggests he was preparing for murder.

On February 16, Breck travelled to Daynes's home in Grays, Essex. After ordering a pizza, Daynes carried out the killing.

Ms LaFave has since launched the Breck Bednar Memorial Foundation and is distributing wristbands with the slogan Play Virtual/Live real in a bid to highlight the dangers of meeting strangers online.

She has also called for an investigation into the actions of Essex and Surrey Police forces in the build up to her son's death.

She said: "When a person calls into a police number, you want a sense of security that somebody on the other end is taking it on board - you don't phone the police for fun.

"I don't know where it went wrong but that's what I want the investigation to find out.

It is not a traditional crime and I don't think we're able to keep up with the people who are conducting criminal activity online.

"We've set up the foundation to try to make sure this doesn't happen to other families.

"There will always be online predators but we need more research into how to stop this.

"Our message to young people is have fun online, but keep your online and real life separate because you never really know who you are dealing with."

For more information contact www.breckbednar.com

PA Media

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