A major new project aimed at helping to protect boys from online grooming has been launched in Essex.

Breck’s Last Game is a film based on the real-life murder of 14 year-old Breck Bednar in Grays in February 2014 by then 18-year-old Lewis Daynes.

The film, which will be rolled out in secondary schools across the county, highlights the risks of grooming to teenage boys and asks the question “Do you know who your online friends really are?”.

Gazette: Lewis Daynes will be sentenced in the new year

Lewis Daynes

Daynes ran an online server where Breck, and several of his friends, played games and it was through this forum that Daynes groomed Breck over 13 months.

The killer told him a series of lies, turning him against family and friends, and eventually luring him to his flat in Grays.

Breck had told his parents he was sleeping at a friend’s house near their home in Caterham, Surrey, but secretly travelled to see Daynes in Grays after months of talking on an online gaming forum.

At his flat, the predator slit his throat during an attack believed to be sexually motivated.

Through the use of avatars, the film captures the events leading up to Breck’s death and also features the real 999 call made to police by Daynes.

The project is the work of an innovative collaboration between four police forces – Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Essex and Surrey – and has been made with the active support of Breck’s mother Lorin LaFave, who appears in the film as herself.

The film will be rolled-out in secondary schools across Essex as an educational tool to raise awareness about the dangers of online grooming.

Speaking at the launch of the film, Assistant Chief Const Andy Prophet, said: “This is a really important project which highlights the dangers of online grooming and challenges the stereotypes of both victim and perpetrator.

“This isn’t a made up story. It’s what happened to Breck that ended in him being tragically murdered.

“There’s nothing sensationalised or made up. This really happened, and it happened here in Essex.

“Not all cases of grooming will result in someone being killed or sexually assaulted and not everyone online poses a threat. But, as Breck’s case sadly shows, the risks are all too real.

“This is not an issue we can shy away from – Breck’s death clearly shows us that the consequences of grooming can be absolutely horrific.

“I hope this provokes conversation in the classroom and at home about who young people are talking to online and how best to stay safe and I wholeheartedly endorse it.”

Daynes, who was 18 at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty on the first day of his trial in November 2014 and was sentenced in January 2015 to a minimum of 25 years in prison.

After Breck’s murder, his family - who now live in Kent - formed The Breck Foundation, which works to warn youngsters of the dangers of online gaming and communication.

School children in Surrey, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire will also be shown Breck’s Last Game as part of planned lessons over the coming months with a trailer of the film now available to view online.

The full version of Breck’s Last Game, which carries a warning that, if it were to be screened at a cinema, it would carry a 15 certificate, won’t be released publicly until Spring 2019 to enable it to be shown as part of planned lessons.

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Breck Bednar

It was modelled on Kayleigh’s Love Story, a film made by Leicestershire police about a 15-year-old schoolgirl who was killed after being groomed by a man who sent her an unsolicited Facebook message.

Made with the support of the victim’s family, Kayleigh’s Love Story has been widely screened at local schools and viewed by an estimated 35 million people online.