Sister’s heartbreaking pledge after her 13-year-old brother is stabbed to death in park


The sister of a boy of 13 who was stabbed to death in a country park yesterday vowed to ‘get justice’.

Olly Stephens died at the beauty spot near his family’s four-bedroom home in a leafy Berkshire suburb.

Rumours were circulating yesterday that the teenager had been lured into a trap in a disastrous attempt to ‘teach him a lesson’.

A girl and four boys aged 13 and 14 were in custody last night on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

Oliver Stephens, 13, (pictured) was identified as the victim of the attack in Emmer Green, Berkshire

Police officers at the fields backing onto Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

Police officers at the fields backing onto Reading Golf Club in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

Olly’s 16-year-old sister Emilia posted on Instagram: ‘I’m so sorry I failed you, I wish I could have saved you from it all. We will get justice for you my angel.’

Officers were called just before 4pm on Sunday following reports of a stabbing in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green, two miles north of Reading city centre.

Witnesses said passers-by desperately tried to revive Olly while they waited for paramedics. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The park is only 250 yards from the £670,000 home Olly shared with his sister, mother Amanda, who works in HR, and father Stuart, both aged 51.

Parents outside Highdown School, where Olly had been due to rejoin his classmates tomorrow morning, described the killing as ‘utterly senseless’.

Several bouquets of flowers were laid, with one card reading: ‘Dearest Olly, Taken way too soon, you were such a lovely lad. Loved by many. Thinking and sending love to your family at this sad time.’

Floral tributes and a card left at the scene in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today after the stabbing

Floral tributes and a card left at the scene in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today after the stabbing

Floral tributes left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green today, where Oliver attended

Floral tributes left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green today, where Oliver attended

Floral tributes and a card to the boy have been left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green

Floral tributes and a card to the boy have been left outside Highdown School in Emmer Green

Officers stood guard at police cordons erected at Bugs Bottom Fields this morning

Officers stood guard at police cordons erected at Bugs Bottom Fields this morning

Headteacher Rachel Cave said staff and students had been left ‘reeling’ by the death of the popular pupil.

In a statement, she said: ‘For a life to be ended at such a young age is a total tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

‘Many have been deeply affected by this tragedy.’

A young girl who knew Olly at primary school said he had been ‘a big rugby fan’ who had played in the school team.

She added: ‘At his last primary school play he was Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.

‘He had a lot of friends and was a kind and compassionate boy.

Police survey the area as forensic tents are set up in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green today

Police survey the area as forensic tents are set up in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green today

Police at the scene in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning after the stabbing

Police at the scene in Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning after the stabbing

‘A friend of mine was upset at something one time and I remember Olly consoled her and told her everything was going to be all right. He was really nice.’ Another friend said: ‘At the end of year talent contest he’d play Disney tunes on his electric guitar. Everyone really liked it.’

Police were guarding a large cordon around the crime scene yesterday, with forensics officers using a small tent.

Matt Rodda, Labour MP for Reading East, told of his shock at the killing as he attended the scene yesterday.

He said: ‘This is a very quiet area, a suburban area on the edge of town and typically on a Sunday afternoon, when the incident happened, you would have a lot of families, people walking their dogs in this country park, a well-known beauty spot which is very quiet and pleasant.’

One man, who declined to give his name, said his wife was walking their dog through the park when she saw a boy on the ground with several people gathered around.

Forensic officers at the police tent in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

Forensic officers at the police tent in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

A police officer watches as a forensic tent is set up in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green today

A police officer watches as a forensic tent is set up in Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green today

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning

A forensic tent is set up by police at Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

A forensic tent is set up by police at Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green, Berkshire, today

The teenager died at the scene after police were called. Bugs Bottom fields are pictured today

The teenager died at the scene after police were called. Bugs Bottom fields are pictured today

They were trying to give him first aid and the boy’s face was ‘very white’, his wife told him. Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown of Thames Valley Police said: ‘This remains a very active investigation and a large scene-watch remains in place.

‘We have arrested five young people in connection with this tragic incident, but I would urge anybody who has any information surrounding what happened yesterday to please make contact with Thames Valley Police.’

Police Federation chairman John Apter said of the incident on Twitter: ‘Horrific, so many lives will be shattered by this.

‘Society does indeed need to take a look at itself.’

A police car blocks a road at Emmer Green near Reading in Berkshire this morning

A police car blocks a road at Emmer Green near Reading in Berkshire this morning

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning

Police at a cordon set up adjacent to Bugs Bottom fields in Emmer Green this morning

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