THE parents of a teenage boy murdered in Grays by a sadistic computer gamer he met online have received an unreserved apology and pay-out from Surrey Police after the force admitted making serious mistakes in its handling of the case.
Breck Bednar was killed in 2014 after computer engineer Lewis Daynes, who was 19 at the time, lured him to his Grays flat and stabbed him in a sexually motivated attack.
But it later emerged that police had failed to act when Breck’s mother, Lorin LaFave, 48, contacted officers in the weeks before the murder to voice concerns that her son was being groomed online.
Her concerns were not investigated and it was subsequently revealed that Daynes had previously been arrested on suspicion of raping another teenage boy.
Breck’s parents launched a legal action against the police and yesterday the Surrey Force issued an unreserved apology and agreed to pay substantial compensation.
In a statement, the force said: “Surrey Police accept that mistakes were made in how Ms LaFave’s telephone call to them was handled and responded to; and unreservedly apologises for them.
“As part of the settlement, Surrey Police have agreed to implement recommended changes to their procedures to ensure that other children like Breck are protected.
“Mr Bednar and Ms LaFave hope to work with Surrey Police in order to enhance awareness of the dangers that young people face online and to ensure that appropriate training is given to staff to assist in the prevention of similar crimes against children.”
But American born Ms LaFave, said she had not received a face to face apology from anyone at the force.
Surrey Police accept that mistakes were made in how Ms LaFave’s telephone call to them was handled and responded to; and unreservedly apologises for them.
But Ms LaFave has revealed that Daynes, who is currently serving for the murder, continues to torment her by sending her messages and posting messages online, blaming her for her son’s death.
She said she believed the sadistic killer may be using illegally held mobile phones in order to post the messages and has called on the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to do more to stamp out the use of smuggled mobile phones in prisons.