'Kayleigh's Love Story': Police release powerful film on dangers of online grooming

A harrowing film about the murdered teenager Kayleigh Haywood has been released online to raise awareness of the dangers of grooming.

Kayleigh, 15, was raped and killed by landscape gardener Stephen Beadman in November 2015 after being sent hundreds of messages on social media sites for around two weeks by 28-year-old Luke Harlow.

The film deals with aspects of the last fortnight of her life and warns parents and children to be vigilant about online safety.

The five-minute short - called Kayleigh's Love Story - was produced by Leicestershire Police with the support of Kayleigh's parents.

  • Warning: Some viewers may find this film distressing

The film was viewed more than a million times within 24 hours of being released online via Facebook and YouTube.

Deputy Chief Constable Roger Bannister of Leicester Police said: "To have reached so many people and for the film to have been seen by so many in such a short space of time is remarkable.

"It contains a really important message, a message for children and parents alike, and I believe it has the potential to keep many tens of thousands of children safe from the threat posed by predators online."

Hundreds tributes were left at Kayleigh's funeral in Measham last January. Credit: PA

Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said: "This is a distressing film about the consequences of speaking to and meeting strangers online.

"Every child and young person needs to learn from Kayleigh's story to prevent this tragedy from ever happening again.

"It is essential children are taught about healthy relationships in schools from an early age."

Stephanie Haywood has said her daughter's 'legacy will live on forever' Credit: PA

Last July, Beadman, then 29, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape, false imprisonment and murder of the teenager.

Harlow was given a 12-year jail term for false imprisonment and grooming.