The Stephen Lawrence murder trial


A nation holds its breadth as the jury is sent away to consider the verdict on the two murder suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris accused of killing Stephen Lawrence 18 years ago.

In his closing remarks Judge Treacy told the jury, ‘Emotion, such as sympathy for the Lawrence family, has no part to play,’ adding. ‘Equally, anger at the nature of the attack on Stephen Lawrence cannot guide your decision.’

The case seems to hinge on the specks of blood -likely to be that of Stephen Lawrence-found on the clothing of one of the suspects. The defense has argued sloppy policing may have caused decontamination.

This unresolved murder with all its twist and turns, including the Public Inquiry that followed has left a deep scare in the psyche of many Black Britons. They, and above all the Lawrence family will be looking for closure from the jury.

Simon Woolley

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Ethnic Minority Libe Dems Comment

Today two of the murderers of Stephen Lawrence, who was brutally killed in a racist attack in 1993, have been brought to justice. Issan Ghazni, Chair of EMLD said "I hope that this verdict will allow some sense of closure for the Lawrence family, friends and supporters who have worked with determined integrity to make sure that justice has finally been seen to be done. We hope they will regain some peace in their lives."

Ruwan Uduwerage-Perera, former police officer and EMLD executive member, said "The tainted reputation of the police service has not been expunged despite this latest successful trial. As a result of this case community relations have been blighted by 18 years of mistrust, but there are still questions that need to be answered regarding the police service's incompetence and ongoing institutional racism. Police services still need to build new foundations of respect, ethics and professionalism with the communities they serve."

EMLD Vice Chair Councillor Rabi Martins, who was one of the original members of the Metropolitan Police Race IAG (Independent Advisory Group) established following the McPherson Report on Stephen's death says "Stephen has many legacies - one of which will be the higher levels of scrutiny now carried out by lay people from local communities into howpolice deal with race and racial incidents "

Issan added "It also remains for the Police to prove their worth by bringing successful prosecutions of the other suspects in the case, who,so far, are still free. Our thoughts are with Stephen, his parents Doreen and Neville and Duwayne Brooks."