Kayleigh Haywood's parents help to launch a film about the dangers of online grooming


The parents of murdered schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood have helped to launch a film warning parents and children of the dangers of online grooming.

Stephanie Haywood and Martin Whitby hope the harrowing five-minute film, produced by Leicestershire Police with their permission, will help protect other teenagers into the future.

Schools in Leicestershire and Rutland will initially screen the film - dealing with aspects of the last fortnight of Kayleigh's life - before it is rolled out across the country.

Kayleigh, 15, was killed by landscape gardener Stephen Beadman last November after being groomed on Facebook and other social media sites for around two weeks by 28-year-old Luke Harlow.

Kayleigh Haywood's mother Stephanie and brother Kyle talking to the media
Kayleigh Haywood's mother Stephanie and brother Kyle (Matthew Cooper/PA)

Speaking at the launch of the film at Leicestershire Police's HQ, Kayleigh's mother Stephanie said: "My heart aches every minute of every day.

"So does Martin's and Kyle's, the hearts of our other children and of all those who knew and loved Kayleigh.

"But we are determined that Kayleigh lives on, and not just in our hearts. When the police asked us, last December, if they could make a film about Kayleigh, we didn't hesitate to give them our total support."

Stephanie said of the film, named Kayleigh's Love Story and made locally in February using a professional cast: "It serves as a warning - to children and to parents - of the very real dangers of online grooming.

Tributes left by Measham Church
Heartfelt tributes for Kayleigh (Lauren Hurley/PA)

"We want every child aged 11 and upwards to see this film, both in this country and abroad.

"Because this film is our beautiful daughter's tragic legacy."

Beadman, 29, and Harlow, both of George Avenue, Ibstock, Leicestershire, will be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.