Lewis Daynes, a 19 year old computer engineer (18 at the time of the offence), was due to stand trial for the murder of Breck Bednar, a 14 year old boy who was found stabbed to death after stating that he was going out for a sleepover with a friend.
Details are a bit unclear, all we know are that they appear to have met playing an online video game, and that after Breck’s death “police became aware of a Facebook post saying the schoolboy had met someone “he thought wanted to be his friend”.
The sentence has been adjourned to next year (where we will come back and have a look at it). The only other detail (which is important – see below) is that “the prosecution’s case [is] that the murder “involved a sexual, sadistic motivation.”
What will he get?
The only sentence for murder is life imprisonment (or, as it will be called in this case because of Mr Daynes’ age – detention for life). The question for the Judge will be what tariff – minimum period – Mr Daynes will be required to serve in prison before he can be considered for release.
The prosecution have set out their stall – the murder has a sexual motive. If the Judge accepts that, then the starting point will be 30 years. Otherwise (probably) 15 years. We say ‘probably’ because it may be that there was a knife brought to the scene, which would give a starting point of 25 years.
Either way, there will have to be credit for a plea of guilty. In this case (a plea on the day of trial) probably about 10%. Allowance will have to be made for his youth as well. Much will depend on the exact facts, especially whether there was a sexual motive and whether this was a planned offence.