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Tributes to boy, 13, stabbed to death in field as five teenagers arrested

A schoolboy stabbed to death in a field near Reading has been pictured for the first time after the heartbreaking tragedy.

Police believe 13-year-old Oliver Stephens was attacked by two or three males, who fled the scene in Emmer Green, near Reading, Berkshire, after the stabbing on Sunday at around 3.50pm.

Neighbours living next to the murder scene named Oliver as the victim and said he was a pupil at Highdown School.

A statement on the school’s website from headteacher Rachel Cave confirms the victim was a pupil.

It reads: “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.

“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 Thames Valley Police.”

The five teens – four boys and a girl, all aged between 13 and 14, and from Berkshire – have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

All five are currently in police custody.

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Kevin Brown, head of Thames Valley Police’s Major Crime Unit, 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.

“If 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.

“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.”

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 co