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Breck Bednar: Mother seeks tighter controls on social media

Breck Bednar Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Breck Bednar met his killer online before travelling to meet him

The mother of a boy murdered after being groomed online has urged social media companies to improve their account verification processes.

Breck Bednar, 14, from Caterham in Surrey, was lured by Lewis Daynes to his flat in 2014 and stabbed to death.

A bogus Instagram account in Breck's name was found by his family but the company refused to take it down unless instructed to do so by Breck himself.

It was a month later after The Telegraph contacted Instagram.

A spokesperson for Instagram said: "We understand the distress this has caused the Bednar family and have removed the account."

Daynes is serving a life sentence for the murder of Breck in Grays, Essex, after the pair met through a gaming website.

Image caption The bogus Instagram account was not removed for a month

The Instagram account, which had 55 followers, said in the biography: "I am a 14-year-old gamer that owns a $2million Bitcoin company although I am currently deceased."

Speaking of her horror at discovering the account, Breck's mother Lorin LaFave said: "I just wanted to just cry in the street. It's upsetting because it's somebody pretending to be Breck when no-one can replace him.

"Social media companies need to help and they need to be more socially responsible, have more human assessors so that actually when there's a report or a concern they are able to act on it."

Earlier this year, Breck's sister Chloe received a series of abusive messages on Snapchat claiming to be from her brother's killer.

Snapchat was criticised for a delay in handing over data to police investigating claims the messages were from Daynes.

After Breck's murder, his family - who now live in Kent - formed The Breck Foundation, which warns youngsters of online dangers.

A film has also been created telling his story.

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