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Family of murdered teen Breck Bednar face year wait for answers over social media threats

ByEleanor Perkins

A Kent family faces waiting more than a year for police to prosecute their son’s killer who it is believed has been sending them abusive messages from prison.

Chloe Bednar, 17, is the younger sister of Breck Bednar, who was killed in 2014 after being groomed through online gaming by Lewis Daynes.

In January, the A-Level student started received sickening messages via Snapchat, recounting her brother’s murder in graphic detail.

Scroll down for video as mum speaks of sick messages sent to family

Siblings Breck and Chloe Bednar together
Siblings Breck and Chloe Bednar together

Her mother Lorin LaFave who moved to Deal in 2016 has since appealed via KentOnline for the social media site to help police identify who has sent sick threats to her family.

She believes it's Breck's killer, after she claims he previously contacted by her via Twitter in 2015 and 2016.

Officers in Kent are now lodging a request to Snapchat to identify the accounts which sent the messages.

Yet they have been advised such a request could take 12 to 18 months to process.

MP Charlie Elphicke met with Lorin LaFave and Barry Bednar at his Westminster office
MP Charlie Elphicke met with Lorin LaFave and Barry Bednar at his Westminster office

Deal and Dover MP Charlie Elphicke met with culture secretary Jeremy Wright last week to argue that social media giants should be forced to act more quickly.

Following the meeting, the government published a White Paper on Online Harms today.

It pledges to “work with law enforcement to review whether the current powers are sufficient to tackle anonymous abuse online” and that they “expect companies to do substantially more to keep their users safe and counter online abuse”.

MP Charlie Elphicke with culture secretary Jeremy Wright
MP Charlie Elphicke with culture secretary Jeremy Wright

Mr Elphicke said: “The content of these messages is vile and deeply distressing for Breck’s family.

"Chloe is just 17 years old and still grieving her brother’s death.

“Social media giants like Snapchat must do more to help the police bring the culprits to justice.

"Otherwise sick trolls will continue to pour out this poison without fear of punishment.

“The social media companies provide the platform for these twisted individuals to spew their hatred. It’s time they took responsibility – and put a stop to it now.”

Surrey MP Chris Philp, where Breck’s father Barry lives, is also working to help the family.

He recently pointed out that social media firms “hide behind their terms and conditions which require UK law enforcement officials to get court orders and navigate a bureaucratic process”.

Mum Lorin LaFave says siblings Chloe and Breck were close
Mum Lorin LaFave says siblings Chloe and Breck were close

Mrs LaFave described what happened to her daughter as “a twist of the knife, bringing up all the bad memories of what happened to poor Breck.".

She said: “There are children all over the UK being abused, exploited, harassed and bullied online.

"This is one example of a perpetrator getting away with these criminal acts via social media platforms.

“We must insist that laws are changed to give more power to police to act and investigate quickly and to force Snapchat and others to cooperate with police matters, rather than continue to harbour criminals with anonymity.”

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