Breck Bednar murder: Film warning of online grooming launched
A film telling the “absolutely horrific” story of how a 14-year-old boy was lured to his death by a man he met online has been launched.
Breck Bednar was murdered by Lewis Daynes in Grays, Essex, in 2014.
Four police forces have teamed up to produce “Breck’s Last Game”, which aims to educate and protect boys from online grooming.
However, organisation VictimFocus has warned such films can do more harm than good to youngsters.
The short film, which will be rolled out in schools across Surrey, Essex, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, explains how the teenager from Caterham, Surrey, played games online with friends, on a server run by his killer.
Daynes, then 18, groomed Breck over 13 months before luring him to his flat where he fatally stabbed him.
He pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life with a minimum of 25 years in January 2015.
Jessica Eaton, founder of organisation VictimFocus, said there was no evidence to prove child sexual exploitation (CSE) films prevented offending, but there was “a catalogue of evidence that CSE films and resources traumatise children who see them”.
However, Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave, who appears in the broadcast, said she believed it was important for children to understand what can happen.
Ms LaFave, who said she had cried every time she watched the film, added:: “At the time, I believed the offender was older than he was because he was so controlling and manipulative, even with me.
“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.
“They are not always the stereotypical ‘creepy old guy’.”
The full version of “Breck’s Last Game” will not be available to the public until spring 2019 to allow pupils to see it in planned classes first.
Essex Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: “This is not an issue we can shy away from – Breck’s death clearly shows us that the consequences of grooming can be absolutely horrific.”
The film is made by the same company which produced “Kayleigh’s Love Story”, a film about the grooming, rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood, which has been viewed by an estimated 36.6m people worldwide.