LEWIS Daynes has today been sentenced to life with a minimum of 25 years in prison for the brutal murder of Breck Bednar in Grays on February 17, 2014.
Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Anne Cameron, said: "Lewis Daynes has now been exposed as the dangerous and manipulative criminal that he is. He used his substantial computer expertise and his knowledge of the world of social media, to control everyone he came into contact with in his virtual world.
"He controlled access to this world jealously and spent a great deal of time building up his online persona – pretending to be an entrepreneur in order to influence, coerce and control vulnerable teenage boys to exploit them.
"Tragically, his downward spiral of depravity went even further and ended in the brutal murder of Breck Bednar, an innocent 14 year old boy who had placed his trust in a man he considered to be a friend. Sadly Daynes abused that trust in the most horrific way possible.
"Daynes has shown little remorse for his actions. He will now have many years in prison to reflect upon what he did and we hope he comes to understand the harm and pain he has caused.
"I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Breck’s family who have shown great dignity and provided enormous support to our investigation throughout this incredibly difficult time for them.
"I would also like to put on record my thanks to the investigation team and particularly the High-tech Crime Unit who allowed us to retrieve evidence from encrypted computers that was crucial to this investigation.
"Daynes’ actions provide a warning to all of us about the dangers of on-line predators who can come in many forms."
If anyone has concerns about keeping their children safe on-line they can call Essex Police on our helpline number 01245 282103 between 4.30pm and 8pm.