Leicester

Kayleigh Haywood film prompts grooming reports

Kayleigh Haywood Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood was murdered in November 2015 after being groomed online

Thirty-five children have come forward fearing they have been groomed online following a film about the life of murdered schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood.

The 15-year-old, from Measham, Leicestershire, had chatted with a man on Facebook for two weeks before she was killed in 2015.

The five-minute video, made by police, was shown to 35,000 school pupils in September.

The film, called Kayleigh's Love Story, was made available online this week.

More on this story and other news in Leicestershire

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe trailer for the film carries a 15 certificate warning

Stephen Beadman was jailed for 35 years for raping and murdering Kayleigh. Luke Harlow, who admitted grooming and engaging in sexual activity with her, was jailed for 12 years.

It was Harlow who first contacted Kayleigh, from Measham, Leicestershire, via Facebook and the pair later swapped mobile phone numbers, exchanging 2,600 messages.

It led to Kayleigh staying at his flat in George Avenue on Friday 13 November 2015.

The teenager's body was found in a hedgerow on the outskirts of Ibstock, Leicestershire, about two weeks after that first message.

Image copyright Leicestershire Police
Image caption Luke Harlow (left) pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child while Stephen Beadman admitted rape and murder

Beadman admitted raping Kayleigh, after she fled from Harlow's flat, and battering her to death.

Kayleigh's Love Story was made as a warning about grooming and sexual exploitation of children.

Leicestershire Police said following the screenings in the county's secondary schools there have been 35 "disclosures" made by children to the force that are currently being investigated.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Kayleigh Haywood, from Measham in Leicestershire, was found dead on 18 November 2015

Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister said the reaction from children, parents and teachers had been "overwhelming".

"What happened to Kayleigh was horrific," he said.

"But we are pleased that some good is coming from the awful tragedy and that this film is raising far greater awareness of the dangers of online grooming."

The force said the film was shown first to schoolchildren in "structured" screenings where staff could discuss the issues raised, before it was made more widely available.

Related Topics

More on this story