A 13 year old girl said in a message before luring fellow 13 year old Olly Stephens to his death;
“i don’t care if he dies”
She instigated,fueled and arranged his brutal murder and she will serve less then 2 years in custody.
3 schoolchildren lured him to a Reading park where he was stabbed to death will be sentenced for their roles in his killing.
Two boys were convicted of murdering the victim, described by his family as a “warm, kind, soulful” boy, following a trial at Reading Crown Court this summer.
A girl, who set up the “ambush”, already admitted manslaughter and did not stand trial.
The three defendants, all now 14 years old.
They cannot be named because of their age.
There were more than 50 children spoken to in the investigation, 289 witnesses spoken too, and 41 devices seized.
69,500 pages of evidence were seized from phones, 1,980 voice notes were recovered all of which had to be transcribed.
A sequence of events document listed 649 events.
More than 200 police officers were involved in this investigation.
‘I recognise this has been an extremely difficult trial for everybody involved’, Judge Norton adds.
She lists a number of police officers who should be put forward for commendations.
Judge Norton is to recommend an award should be given to Zoe Neville, who tried in vain to save Olly’s life at Bugs Bottom on January 3. 4:03pm
Addressing her guilty plea and her good behaviour since the incident, the Judge adds: ‘There is a real chance you can be rehabilitated.’
The girl will have to stay in secure accommodation for half her custodial sentence, meaning she will spend 19 months here minus 206 days she has already spent in this setting.
This means she will spend another ten months in detention, which the Judge notes is around the same time as the school year ends in 2022.
The Judge says the girl would be looking at a six-year sentence if she was an adult.
She adds: ‘This was an offence you planned with other people. You were able to commit this offence because Olly trusted you.
‘You told lies when Police questioned you after Olly was stabbed.
‘You deleted data from your phone.’
You pleaded guilty on the basis you did not know the younger boy had a knife.
‘Nevertheless, you set this meeting up without Olly’s knowledge.
‘You were happy and you were excited [about the potential of a fight between Olly and the boys.]
‘Even though you didn’t know anyone would use a knife, you did know Olly would not be prepared for what was going to happen.
‘You did know this was an ambush and violence would be used against him.
‘And yet you carried on in the plan to set Olly up.
‘You didn’t care less whether he was hurt or not.
You played a very big part in luring Olly out so he could be attacked.
‘You deliberately exposed Olly to violence, the violence was serious, and as a result Olly died.’
Addressing the older boy, the Judge adds: ‘This was a planned attack in which you played a leading role.
‘You wanted to confront Olly and persuaded the girl to lure Olly to the scene so you could attack him.
‘Although it was the younger boy who stabbed Olly, you must have known he had a knife.
‘The attack took place in broad daylight in a public park.
‘After the offence you helped the other boy dispose of clothing and deleted data from your phone.
‘You were only just 14 at the time. Although you made comments about killing Olly on social media, I cannot be sure you intended to kill him rather than cause him serious injury.
‘Your actions discarding clothing and data was not sophisticated.
‘You handed yourself into the police on the day of the offence and admitted to manslaughter.
‘I take into account your extremely good behaviour in custody.
‘All of which suggests you have a real chance of rehabilitation when you leave.’
If you were adults, the starting point would have been 25 years.
‘[Addressing the younger boy], you took the knife and stabbed Olly, killing him.
‘This was a planned attack, Olly was lured to the scene and ambushed. You took a knife to the scene and must have intended to use it if the circumstances arose.
‘The attack took place in broad daylight in a public park
‘Afterwards, you got rid of the knife and the clothes you were wearing.
‘The facts that make the offence less serious are these.
‘Your age. You were only 13 at the time of the offence. Although you made comments on social media about killing Olly I can not be sure you intended to kill Olly rather than cause him serious injury.
‘Thirdly, the disposal of evidence after the incident was not sophisticated.’
‘What took place happened very quickly indeed.
‘The maximum time that would have passed from meeting Olly to stabbing him fatally would have been less than two minutes.
‘There was some shouting and then the younger boy stabbed him twice.
‘Those injuries were catastrophic and fatal.
‘Having stabbed him, none of you did a thing to help him.
‘It was members of the public who tried so hard to save Olly’s life.
‘He was only 13 years old.
[The boys] barely knew Olly.
Sadly, because of some ridiculous petty online argument, the three of you acted together to plan an attack.
‘Because you are part of a youth culture where you think violence is normal and knives are cool, you caused the death of a child.
‘What you did that day was utterly cruel and totally pointless.
‘You have taken one life, damaged your own futures and have caused so much pain to so many people.
‘No one can know how Olly’s life may have turned out if you hadn’t acted with so much stupidity on the third of January.
‘But the effects of what you did will stay with you, your families and Olly’s family will stay with you forever.’
Addressing the boys, she says they were ‘fascinated with knife culture’.
‘There were photos of you posing with knives. A film of you both in which you act out a chase with a knife.
‘There are messages about stabbings.
‘There is a previous incident in which you asked the younger boy to bring a knife to a confrontation with another boy.’
The girl is given a prison sentence of three years and two months.
The younger boy is given a prison sentence of minimum 13 years.
The older boy is given a minimum prison sentence of 12 years.
Addressing the teens, she says: ‘On the third of January, the three of you went to Bugs Bottom to confront Olly Stephens.
‘[To the girl], you set Olly up. You knew the older boy intended to use violence on Olly and you knew Olly might be hurt but you didn’t care.
‘[To the older boy] You were the person who wanted Olly to be set up because of something you thought he did online.
You claimed you did not know a knife would be used on Olly and that you did not intend serious harm. The jury did not believe you and you have been convicted of murder.
‘[To the younger boy] You were the one who killed Olly.
You did that because you thought Olly would have a knife.
The jury did not believe you and convicted you of murder too.
‘Afterwards, all three of you discarded of information.’
She says the ‘grief and pain’ the family is feeling must be ‘unimaginable’.
‘I know the sentences I am about to give to each defendant will seem to you to be unbearably short.
‘For the boys, they will seem to be unbearably long.
‘Whatever the length of sentence, those sentences are in no way a reflection of the worth of Olly.’
The defence counsel says the girl was on the HouseParty app on the morning of January 3.
The barrister says it was Olly who had suggested the pair meet later that day.
‘She did not know the younger boy had a knife and was not expecting a knife to be used.
‘She did not know him at all and the fact he joined them did not change her expectation of the confrontation.
‘The Crown has accepted the plea and that must be upon which she is sentenced.
’13-year-old boys fighting is not something anyone would anticipate ending up in anything approaching really serious harm.’
The evening of the incident, the girl sent messages to Olly’s family in which she said she felt like Olly’s death was her fault as she met up with him, but continued to deny she knew the boys who stabbed him, which was untrue.
She sent a message sending her ‘love’ to Olly’s family, despite her role in the attack.
She was later arrested in the early hours of January 4 and gave no comment answers to questions.
In the video, the girl appears upset and crying as she is questioned by police.
Her parents are spotted in the background with their hands over their mouths.
The girl says she saw Olly get stabbed by two people whose faces were covered.
These were ‘sustained’ lies, Ms Morgan says, and she ‘sought to diminish her responsibility in relation to what happened to Olly Stephens that day.’
In this clip, the girl says she was with Olly and saw him get stabbed by people whose faces were covered.
She told police she did not know the people who attacked Olly.
‘Having abandoned Olly and received a lift home from her parents, she arrived back to her home address at 4pm.
Police attended the girl’s address at 4.28pm.
Police were wearing bodycams when the police interviewed the girl alongside her parents.
A short clip being shown to the court shows this exchange.
A witness said she saw the girl ‘strutting along’. He said she seemed ‘arrogant’ and ‘a bit look-at-me’.
‘It looked like she liked herself, like she was the Queen Bee’, the witness said.
There was a dispute between the defendants and Olly Stephens before Olly was stabbed.
The older boy claimed he heard Olly say he had been stabbed.
The girl was present at this moment.
Unlike another boy, who ‘ran immediately to notify Olly’s parents about what had happened to him, the girl made her way away from the scene out of Bugs Bottom.
‘She was seen by a witness to be glancing back over her shoulder to where Olly must have collapsed’, Ms Morgan claims.
She then called her parents to collect her.
The girl was sending messages to the boys to indicate her location with Olly Stephens after they had met up.
‘It was obviously a carefully orchestrated ambush on Olly Stephens designed to make sure he was off-guard with no idea what was about to happen’, Ms Morgan says.
One witness described the girl as ‘excited-looking, happy, and bouncing along the pavement’ when sighted in Bugs Bottom.
Another claimed she was skipping with her coat over her shoulder.
In contrast, Olly left his house in sliders with ‘absolutely no idea of what was to come’, Ms Morgan adds.
The prosecution does not accept the messages sent as a result of intoxication, Ms Morgan says, as her defence team claimed.
On January 3, the girl was expressing her ‘excitement and enthusiasm’ to a friend about what was going to happen to Olly, Ms Morgan adds.
‘He’s going to go and bang him. I’m so excited you don’t understand’, the girl said in a message to a friend.
Messages revealed she was worried the older boy was actually going to set her up.
Ms Morgan claims the ‘sincerity of these messages were not just talk or the product of intoxication. They were sustained throughout the day.’
The Judge refused the application to lift the restrictions on the defendants, meaning they will go unnamed until the restrictions are lifted on their 18th birthdays.
This story sparked a conversation about children and social media and also the element of honey traps.
Why did a 13 year old girl want to lure a boy to his death? what is wrong with a generation that believes knives are a sort of fetish and status statement.
She will serve less then a year now for her involvement and some would say her actions that led to Olly’s death.
Speaking to your child and educating kids on social media risk must become a priority to avoid this happening again.