Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on May 2nd 2021, we have remembered 72 women, the last being Barbara Baraniecka.
Today we remember 15-year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood, from Measham, Leicestershire, who was brutally murdered in November 2015. Later her death was retold by Channel 5 in a documentary called "Murder on the Internet".
Kayleigh was into social media and, in particular, Facebook - where she met a 27-year-old man, Luke Harlow. They then swapped 2643 text messages before Kayleigh agreed to meet with Harlow at a local leisure centre. Kayleigh was then lured to his home, where he plied her with alcohol, sexually touching her. He then told his neighbour, 29-year-old Stephen Beadman, that he had a “bird” at his house.
Beadman then went to Harlow's house - and between the three of them, it would appear a considerable amount of alcohol was consumed. Harlow claims to have passed out. At around midnight, neighbours heard the harrowing screams of "mummy", but despite calling out to see if they could help, they never heard a reply
The next day Harlow approached Beadman asking where Kayleigh was, her shoes still at his house. Beadman claimed she had left, but Harlow also noticed his face was badly scratched.
Kayleigh was reported missing, her body found five days later, in lakeside undergrowth near Ibstock, around 2 miles from Kayleigh's home.
On November 24th 2015, an inquest heard that Kayleigh Haywood had died due to head and facial injuries. Her head smashed by a brick, had to be identified by dental records. A post-mortem examination also confirmed that she had been raped.
Police had already arrested Beadman & Harlow in connection with Kayleigh's disappearance, and after the discovery of Kayleigh's body, both were charged - Beadman of rape and murder, Harlow with grooming, and two counts of sexual activity with a child. At Harlow's trial, it was revealed he had groomed two other girls online, aged 13 and 15, both of whom believed he was their boyfriend.
Both Beadman & Harlow were subsequently found guilty and sentenced to terms in prison. Beadman a life sentence with a minimum of 35 years - Harlow to 12 years.
Yesterday, November 25th, was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marking a 16 day period when we call out male violence.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is endemic worldwide and, as our #EveryThreeDays campaign demonstrates, is prevalent in the UK.
VAWG shows no mercy.
Not even to fifteen-year-old schoolgirls with their life all before them.
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph