Essex

Surrey Police payout for Breck Bednar's parents

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Media captionAudio: Lorin LaFave (pictured left with her son Breck) phoned police weeks before he was killed by Lewis Daynes (right) to report her fears that Breck was being groomed

The parents of a 14-year-old boy murdered by a man he met online have received a payout from police over how the case was handled.

Breck Bednar was killed in 2014 after being lured to the home of Lewis Daynes, 20, who is now serving life.

His mother called police with concerns about grooming but a report found the force failed to deal with her properly.

Surrey Police said it "unreservedly apologises" and accepts "mistakes were made".

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Breck, from Caterham in Surrey, was killed in 2014 after travelling to Daynes's home in Grays, Essex.

A trial heard there was sexual activity between the pair and Daynes then slashed his victim's throat.

Weeks earlier, Breck's mother Lorin LaFave reported a change in his behaviour to police.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption "Kind" and "intelligent" Breck Bednar was a churchgoer and member of the Air Training Corps

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry found the call handler and their supervisor lacked knowledge of dealing with grooming concerns.

It also found Ms LaFave was not provided with information about specialist agencies which help parents who suspect their child may be being groomed.

The force also failed to check the Police National Computer, on which a record existed for Daynes for a previous alleged rape of a minor in 2011 in Essex.

Surrey Police said that Ms LaFave and Breck's father Barry Bednar sought damages for "failing to protect their son," for which the parties "have reached a settlement."

The force has "agreed to implement recommended changes... to ensure that other children like Breck are protected," a spokesman said.

"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," he added.

Investigators previously served a misconduct notice on a staff member at Surrey Police contact centre. Another staff member, who took the call, resigned from the force last August.

The IPCC said that, had both of them stayed in the force, they would have had a case to answer for misconduct.

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