A 13-year-old schoolgirl implicated in the conspiracy to murder teenager Olly Stephens sent a sickening voice message saying how “excited” she was at luring the Reading boy to his death.
She said in a message: “By the way, I’m setting up Olly tomorrow.”
She added: “[One of the boys] just want me to make it up so he will go and bang him and give him a pattern and s***.
READ MORE: Teenage killer jailed for stabbing autistic boy, 13
Patterning is a form of online humiliation intentionally spread across multiple social platforms for maximum impact.
The girl said to a friend: “I’m so excited, don’t you understand?”
DCI Andy Howard says 90% of the evidence in Olly’s murder trial came from mobile phones (Image: PA)
The girl had been recruited by two boys who stabbed Olly in a field behind his house over a social media disagreement. His killers used Snapchat to arrange the attack.
The girl said in a message: “By the way, I’m pitching Olly tomorrow.”
She boasted: “[One of the boys] just want me to settle down so he’ll go and hit him and give him a pattern and s***.
One of the killers used the platform to threaten Olly before attacking: “You have poison in your heart Fam,” he wrote. “Olly, you’re going to die tomorrow.”
Olly’s father Stuart watched his son die: “I just held his hand and asked him not to leave me” (Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire) Read more Related articles Read more Related articles
It was the sheer volume of social media messages that allowed police to track down Olly’s killer.
“We were really surprised by the amount of digital evidence,” Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard told the BBC.
Images were shared on Instagram of people wielding knives, wearing balaclavas and hoods.
“There’s certainly a very unhealthy attraction to filming, taping, acts of really, really, really serious violence,” said DCI Howard.
Recent research suggests that social media was a key factor in about a quarter of crimes committed by under-18s (Image: Berkshire Live / Darren Pepe)
Olly had been diagnosed with autism shortly before his murder.
His father Stuart said: “Olly trusted people too much, it was part of his makeup, it was part of his autism – that’s why we loved him.
“He knew no sense of danger, stood up for himself in a confrontation and could not back down, but was kind and loving.”
The girl who ambushed Olly, now 14, admitted to manslaughter and perversion of justice and was sentenced to five years in juvenile detention.
The girl and the accused cannot be named for legal reasons.
Detective Chief Inspector Howard, who led the Thames Valley Police investigation, described it as “one of the most shocking” of his career.