11 MAR 2019

Social media giants must crack down on vile abuse

The sister of a murdered 14-year-old boy has been sent vile messages on social media by someone claiming to be her brother's killer. Chloe Bednar, 17, was targeted in January this year on Snapchat.

Her brother Breck was killed in 2014 after being groomed through online gaming by Lewis Daynes – who was jailed for life after pleading guilty to murder. The sickening messages sent to Chloe recount her brother's murder in graphic detail.

Chloe's mum Lorin LaFave contacted me to ask for his help in ensuring the police can identify the culprit behind the messages and bring him to justice. Ms LaFave and Breck's father Barry, who lives in Surrey, met with me in Westminster last month.

I have since teamed up with Barry's MP, Chris Philp, to help the family. We have raised our serious concerns about the case with Kent Police's Chief Constable Alan Pughsley and Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott. We urged them to contact Snapchat in order to obtain information about the device, account and user identity from which the messages were sent. We are also calling on Snapchat to immediately release the information to the police.

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.


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Charlie Elphicke

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