The man who raped and killed 15 year-old schoolgirl Kayleigh Haywood has died in prison, it has been confirmed.
Stephen Beadman, 34, from Ibstock, was serving a life term in Wakefield Prison for the killing Kayleigh in November 2015.
His horrific crime took place as the teenager had tried to flee his clutches – and another man who had groomed her over a two-week period online.
Stephen Beadman, 34, was found dead yesterday in Wakefield Prison. He was serving a minimum 35-year term for the rape and murder of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood, right
Prison authorities conformed that Beadman, who was an inmate at HMP Wakefield, died yesterday. They refused to release the cause of the killer’s death insisting that was a matter for the coroner. They said the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed
Kayleigh’s father, Martin Whitby, right, welcomed Beadman’s death in prison yesterday
The Ministry of Justice has issued a statement stating that Beadman died in hospital yesterday.
The cause or circumstances of his death, however, was not revealed.
A Prison Service spokesperson said: ‘HMP Wakefield prisoner Stephen Beadman died in hospital on April 8.
‘The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.’
They added: ‘The Prison Service cannot confirm the cause of death, which is rightly a matter for the coroner.’
Kayleigh, from the village of Measham, Leicestershire, was murdered after chatting to a stranger online before taking the decision to meet up with him.
Over a period of 13 days she was groomed by Luke Harlow, 23, who exchanged 2,643 text messages with the youngster.
Kayleigh had spent the night at his flat in Ibstock on November 13, 2015.
The following day, Harlow’s next door neighbour Beadman, then 28, arrived and the pair plied her with drink.
In the two weeks before her murder, Kayleigh exchanged 2,643 text messages with Luke Harlow, 23 – who lived next door to Beadman. Harlow was sentenced to 12 years in jail
She was sexually assaulted by Harlow before trying to flee, at which point she was chased by Beadman, who raped and murdered the schoolgirl with a brick before dumping her body in a farmer’s field.
Kayleigh’s body was found five days later on the outskirts of the village. Her body had to be identified using dental records.
On learning the news of Beadman’s death, Kayleigh’s father, Martin Whitby, posted his reaction on social media.
Writing on Facebook, he said: ‘Best news ever… the ******* that killed my daughter is dead.
‘Hope the ******* rots in hell.’
Beadman was handed a life sentence with a minimum term of 35 years, meaning that would have been likely to have remained in prison until at least 2050.
Harlow was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
‘Kayleigh’s Love Story’, a film produced by Leicestershire Police to deter children and young people from falling victim to online sexual abuse and exploitation, was shown to pupils in schools in Leicestershire and Rutland and across the UK.
It was later released to the public and has been placed in the National Film Archive due to its significance.