Three teenagers charged over death of autistic boy in Reading

Oliver Lucas Stephens, who was known as Olly, died at the scene of the attack at Bugs Bottom fields, Emmer Green.

Olly Stephens leans on his left hand
Olly Stephens leans on his left hand

Three teenagers have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm in connection with the death of an autistic 13-year-old in Reading on Sunday, Thames Valley Police said.

Oliver Lucas Stephens, who was known as Olly, died at the scene of the attack at Bugs Bottom fields, Emmer Green.

A 13-year-old girl, a 13-year-old boy and a 14-year-old boy have been charged with murder and conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm in connection with the death.

The trio, all from Reading, have been remanded in custody to appear in Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Two other boys, both aged 13, have been released on bail with strict conditions until February 1.

In a statement issued through police, Olly’s family described the youngster as “an enigma” who “could get his own way with a wry smile and a cheeky grin”.

They said: “He always stood his ground and fought for the underdog whilst having an amazing depth of love, warmth and wit.

“In his final moments he must have been terrified. Fighting to get home, he had everything to live for.

“We now have only memories.

“An Olly-sized hole has been left in our hearts.”

The family described the ordeal as “every parents’ worst nightmare”.

But they also sought to highlight those who helped at the scene, including “a Good Samaritan that tried valiantly to save Oliver”, an off-duty doctor who offered help, and the emergency services.

Emmer Green stabbing
Floral tributes and cards left outside Highdown School in Reading following Olly Stephens’s death (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Officers were called just before 4pm on Sunday following reports of a stabbing at the park, which is popular with dog walkers, joggers and families.

Parents laying flowers at nearby Highdown School called the killing “utterly senseless” and said their children who attended school with Olly were “devastated”.

Detective superintendent Kevin Brown said: “This continues to be a very difficult time for the family of Olly. Our thoughts remain with them. The Stephens family appreciate all of the kindness shown to them but they have asked that their privacy is respected at this very difficult time.”

Anyone who has information on the incident is asked to contact police on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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