Lewis Daynes sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Breck Bednar

A GRAYS teenager, who murdered a 14-year-old boy he met on the internet has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

The sentence was passed down by Mrs Justice Laura Cox at Chelmsford Crown Court this afternoon (Monday).

The sentence recommended that life should mean a minimum of twenty five years.

Dayne showed no emotion as he was led out of the court room.

Sentencing, the judge said she was "sure this murder was driven by sexual and sadistic motivation",

"I’m sure you intended to kill this young boy. I’m also sure that this murder was driven by a sexual or sadistic motivation.

This is a case in which the seriousness of the offence is exceptionally high.

"I have no doubt that Breck endured both mental and physical suffering before he died.

She added: "In my opinion it was grooming behaviour. In January [last year] you bought duct tape, condoms and lubricant and you made promises to Breck of great wealth if he worked for your fictitious software company. I find that you lured him to your home and murdered him."


The Day’s Proceedings

The day began at Chelmsford Crown Court with the news that Daynes was also accused of sexually assaulting another boy.

Mrs Justice Cox lifted reporting restrictions in relation to five other counts that Lewis Daynes faced.

These included four counts of sexual offences relating to another victim and one of possessing indecent images. Daynes has denied these offences.

Richard Whitham QC, prosecuting, said there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction, given the conviction for murder and so these charges were dropped.

Computer engineer Lewis Daynes, 19, pleaded guilty to the murder of Breck Bednar, at a flat in Grays, Essex, on 17 February, 2014.

Whitham told a packed court it was the prosecution’s case that the murder “involved both a sexual and sadistic motivation”.

Whitehall spent the morning in front of a packed gallery at Chelmsford Crown Court, detailing the prosecution case.

His case detailed how Daynes had befriended Breck Bednar over the internet. The court heard that Daynes had key IT skills and had created chat rooms and servers.

But the web was used by Daynes to slowly groom and ensnare Breck Bednar as well as trying to drive a wedge between Breck Bednar and his family.

Daynes appeared to be enticing and controlling Breck Bednar through promises of wealth due to a number of IT businesses that Daynes claimed to be involved in.

Breck’s parents became so concerned that by December 2013, they had confiscated IT equipment from their son and had meetings with other parents. But by Boxing Day, they had returned Breck’s computer to him.

In early February, Breck Bednar went on a school exchange trip to Spain. The court heard that Daynes became concerned at the lack of communication and so contacted Breck Bednar to tell him, he was ill. But he also told him about outlandish business plans that could net millions.

A meeting in Grays was arranged. Daynes had also given Breck Bednar instructions for a cover story should his parents ask.

On Sunday, February 16th, Breck Bednar took a taxi from Surrey to Grays. Daynes paid the fare.

The court heard that on the morning of February 17th, Daynes had contacted a number of Breck Bednar’s friends and told them that their friend was dead. After that he sent a number of images of Breck’s body to them.

He then contacted the police, apprised them of the circumstances and when asked by an operator if he had killed him, he said "yes".

The court heard that there was evidence of sexual activity between the two shortly before Breck, whose wrists and ankles had been bound with duct tape, was killed.

A pathologist told the court that the fatal injury was a 4 inch stab wound to the right hand side of the neck. Probably whilst Daynes was standing behind Breck Bednar.

The pathologist also indicated that death may have occurred in less than ten seconds.

The court also heard that whilst Daynes was in prison he informed a person that the murder was committed by two Middle Eastern men who had kidnapped them.

The final presentation of the morning was a number of victim impact statements.

Breck Bednar’s father Barry Bednar’s statement told the court "Our oldest son has been stolen…. They were living shattered lives….I have a feeling that I had let my Breck down."

Breck’s mother, Lorin Le Fave said: "The birth of Breck was a dream come true. I took him everywhere.

The statement told the court that that her health has been shattered "but I want Breck’s story to save others from the pure evil in this world."

Daynes was dressed in a smart grey suit. For most of the time, he remained impassive in the dock apart from when the felt some facts of the case were wrong, when he shook his head.

In the afternoon, Simon Mayo QC presented a case in mitigation.

Mayo said that Daynes had Asperger’s syndrome which would "affects his ability to make sound judgments". But he added that Daynes did not accept that his behaviour had been sexual and sadistic.

Mr Mayo said: "There is insufficient evidence for the court to conclude that there was a significant degree of premeditation and planning for murder."

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