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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
Police reject game link to murder
Stefan Pakeerah
Stefan was repeatedly battered and stabbed by his older friend
Detectives investigating the murder of a 14-year-old boy in a Leicester park have rejected any link with a violent computer game.

Stefan Pakeerah was beaten and stabbed to death by Warren Leblanc, 17, but the motive, say police, was robbery.

Leicestershire police have confirmed a copy of the game was found, but in Stefan's' bedroom and not with Leblanc.

Stefan's parents blamed the game, which was withdrawn by some high street retailers, following the court case.

Leblanc is responsible for what Leblanc did and what he did was horrible
Giselle Pakeerah
A Leicestershire constabulary spokesperson said: "Police investigations did not uncover any connections to the computer game.

"The motive for the incident was robbery."

They added: "We can confirm the game was not found in Warren Leblanc's room, it was found in Stefan Pakeerah's room."

In the wake of Leblanc's guilty plea, several stores withdrew Manhunt from sale.

But sales at HMV, which has continued to sell the game, have reportedly risen.

Violent films

Stefan's mother, Giselle, who called for violent computer games to be banned, claimed her son only had the game because it had been lent to him by Leblanc.

"Warren Leblanc gave Stefan the game just two days before he killed him," she said.

"Leblanc is responsible for what Leblanc did and what he did was horrible."

Mrs Pakeerah added: "He liked violent films and games and particularly liked Manhunt.

"There are obvious similarities between the game and how Stefan died."

'Misleading reporting'

For its part, the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers' Association (Elspa), the industry body for the video game industry, has written to Home Secretary David Blunkett about the media coverage of the case.

"We have been very concerned recently about the misleading and disingenuous reporting about the effects of playing interactive games software," said Elspa.

"As you will know, despite many research projects into the effects of screen violence, some of which have been undertaken by eminent academics in their field, no link with violent behaviour has been found."

Elspa said its members took their responsibilities extremely seriously and that they conformed with both the letter and spirit of the law and the strict Codes of Practice.

Manhunt game 'flying off shelves'
04 Aug 04  |  Leicestershire
Game blamed for hammer murder
29 Jul 04  |  Leicestershire
Manhunt game withdrawn by stores
29 Jul 04  |  Leicestershire

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