Stabbing victim named as schoolboy Oliver Stephens as 5 teens remain in custody

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Police have formally identified Oliver Lucas Stephens as the schoolboy who was allegedly stabbed in Reading on Sunday.

Oliver, 13, was allegedly knifed in the back of the neck in a field in Emmer Green, a suburb of Reading.

Four boys and a girl, all aged 13 and 14, have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder and remain in custody.

Thames Valley Police said Oliver, known as Olly to friends, died of his injuries following a stabbing in Bugs Bottom fields, near to St Barnabus Road, Gravel Hill.

His family is being supported by specially trained officers, the force said, and asked that their privacy is respected.

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In a statement, Thames Valley Police said: "Our thoughts remain with Olly’s family at this incredibly difficult time.

“I would urge anyone who has any information that they believe is relevant to this investigation, no matter how small you think it is, to please get in touch.

"f you do have any images or footage I would ask that you please do not share it on social media, but instead report it to us."

The headteacher of Highdown school, where Oliver was a pupil of, said the community is "reeling" from the "tragic" loss of a pupil whose life "ended at such a young age."

In a statement, she said her "thoughts and prayers are with his family" and said the school would be arranging "counselling support and will be establishing an electronic book of condolence."

Rachel Cave said: "The Highdown community is reeling from the tragic news that a 13-year-old boy was stabbed in Emmer Green.

"This student was part of our community and many students and staff knew him well. 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. In normal circumstances we would open the school and welcome in students for support before the start of the term. Officers stood guard at police cordons erected at Bugs Bottom Fields this morning

"We are currently unable to do this of course but are arranging counselling support and will be establishing an electronic book of condolence.

"Highdown is a supportive and close-knit community, we will work together over the coming days and weeks. We are, of course, working closely with our police colleagues."

Local policing area commander for Reading, Superintendent Nick John, said: "This is a fast paced investigation and I understand the concerns that this will have caused in the local community.

"I would like to reassure residents that officers are carrying out a thorough investigation into this incident and there will continue to be an increased police presence in the local area through the following days.

"I’d also like to thank the local community for their co-operation and support so far and encourage anyone who has any questions or concerns to please speak to officers who are there to help and provide support."

"You can make a report by calling 101 or online, quoting reference 43210002635.

"If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online."

  • Knife Crime

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