Mother tells inquiry of escape fears after son’s murderer posted ‘hurtful’ blogs
Lorin LaFave appeared before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to give evidence as part of its investigation into the internet.
The mother of a murdered schoolboy has told an inquiry how she feared his killer had escaped from jail when he posted menacing blogs from behind bars.
Breck Bednar was 14 when he fell into the thrall of computer engineer Lewis Daynes, an 18-year-old stranger who groomed him over the course of many months.
He was lured to a flat in Greys, Essex, in February 2014 by the predator, who slit his throat during an attack believed to be sexually motivated.
Daynes was sentenced to life with a minimum of 25 years in 2015 – but managed to taunt his victim’s mother via two blogs he published on the internet.
Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave appeared before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) to give evidence as part of its investigation into the internet.
She told the hearing that the second online post left her so shaken that she rang 999.
Efforts to get them removed were then rebuffed by Google, the hearing was told, who said she should contact her son’s killer directly.
He had apparently been able to publish the pieces by using software that disguised his location, Ms LaFave said.
The killer’s last post was written at around the time a docu-drama about the case was due for release in January 2016.
Ms LaFave told the hearing: “I was reassured that there was no way he could contact me from prison and I then started to get worried he had escaped, because he is capable – he is such a good liar.
“I got worried and called 999, I happened to be in London for the release of the documentary Murder Games and I was told to call the prison and find out if he was still there.
“I’m quite sure that I don’t know what prison – I don’t know the number nor would they tell me, because I’m kind of any old person.
“I then was call-transferred to Surrey where I lived, and had to explain the whole thing over again on the street in a frantic worry that he had escaped.
“In the end he never did get in trouble for it because he did it with the software that anybody can purchase to hide the identity of where the link came from.
“That’s just scary.”
Daynes first posted a “hurtful piece” about Ms LaFave on Twitter in November 2015, counsel to the inquiry Jacqueline Carey said.
The grieving mother contacted police, who told her there was “nothing we can do” because it was posted with a US company, the hearing was told.
Similar difficulties were encountered when attempts were made to have the second post taken down, it was heard.
Ms LaFave continued: “I was told – am I allowed to say who told me? Google – that they didn’t know it is him.
“I said ‘well, it is his name and his birth year’… they said ‘you’d have to ask him that yourself’.
“Okay, once again, how am I supposed to get access to prison? I think I felt really tied.
“I felt like I wanted the police once again to be able to help but they didn’t have the tools and the power that they needed to be able to do that.”
The IICSA is holding five days of evidence hearings that will examine how the internet allows sex offenders to target children and young people.