Lewis Daynes sentenced for murder of Breck Bednar

12/01/2015

Teenager Lewis Daynes was sentenced today for the murder of Breck Bednar, 14, in a case described by CPS East of England Chief Crown Prosecutor Jenny Hopkins as "shocking", given the young ages of those involved.

Ms Hopkins said: "Our case was that Lewis Daynes, even though he was only 18 when he committed Breck's murder, was a controlling and manipulative individual who carefully planned this crime.

"He groomed Breck online using their shared interest in computer games and over a period of months he manipulated Breck, turning him against his family.

"A month before the tragic event of Breck's death, Daynes was clearly organising and planning, buying duct tape and other items online. He also texted instructions on what lies Breck should tell his parents so he would be able to visit Daynes' home in Grays, Essex.

"We have seen cases where young teenagers have been groomed online and arrange to meet someone but it is rare for it to culminate in such a dreadful and violent murder.

"The degree of planning and manipulation by Daynes is quite shocking and when you consider the young ages of perpetrator and victim, it stands out as one of the most cruel and unusual cases we have dealt with."

Daynes had originally pleaded not guilty to the murder of Breck Bednar on 17 February 2014 but changed his plea to guilty at the start of his trial on 25 November 2014.

At the sentencing hearing in Chelmsford Crown Court on 12 January 2015, prosecuting counsel Richard Whittam, QC, told the court that the Crown's case was that this was a sexually or sadistically motivated murder. This was disputed by the defence and after hearing from expert witnesses, judge Mrs Justice Cox ruled that she accepted the Crown's argument.

Taking this into account, the judge sentenced Daynes to life imprisonment with a minimum tariff of 25 years.

Ms Hopkins said: "I hope the life sentence passed today confirms that justice has been done and brings some comfort to the family and friends of Breck who have suffered a terrible loss. Our thoughts are with them."

End

NOTES TO EDITORS

1. At the start of the sentencing hearing, prosecuting counsel Mr Whittam told the judge that CPS East of England had decided not to prosecute Lewis Daynes in relation to a separate rape case and were offering no evidence against him on four charges in that matter.

2. The charges in that case are: rape, attempted rape and two charges of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent between 1 April 2011 and 10 July 2011..

3. The prosecution also offered no evidence on a charge against Daynes of making an indecent photograph of a child on 30 August 2011.