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Stephen Lawrence killers finally jailed

Two men have finally been jailed for the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence nearly 19 years ago.

 

Gary Dobson was sentenced to at least 15 years and two months. David Norris was given a minimum term of 14 years and three months for the murder, which Mr Justice Treacy said was a "terrible and evil crime".
 

On Tuesday they were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of killing Mr Lawrence, who was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in 1993.
 
They were sentenced as Britain's top police officer Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said "the other people involved in the murder of Stephen Lawrence should not rest easily in their beds".
 
Passing sentence, the judge told the pair: "A totally innocent 18-year-old youth on the threshold of a promising life was brutally cut down in the street in front of eye witnesses by a racist, thuggish gang.
 
"You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes."
 
He said that undercover police footage of the pair using racist obscenities showed "disgusting and shocking scenes", and that the murder was committed "for no other reason than racial hatred."
 
Mr Justice Treacy said that neither Mr Lawrence nor his friend Duwayne Brooks, who was with him on the night of the fatal attack, had done anything to harm, threaten or offend the group.
 
The evidence in the trial could not prove who wielded the knife, but he said that whoever used it had done so with Dobson and Norris's "knowledge and approval".
 
He said: "Whilst the attack on Stephen Lawrence himself clearly could not have been premeditated since it was a chance encounter, I cannot accept that a crime of this type simply arose on the spur of the moment. The way in which the attack took place strongly suggests to me that your group, if not actively seeking out a victim, was prepared, if the opportunity arose, to attack in the way in which you did."
 
After sentencing, Mr Justice Treacy called forward Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who has been the senior officer in the case for a number of years.
 
He told him: "The Macpherson Inquiry shamed and humbled the Metropolitan Police by its conclusions as to the errors and failures in the initial investigation into this case. That said, it's right to acknowledge the hard work and professionalism of other officers of the Metropolitan Police in more recent times, in collaboration with highly skilled scientists, the Crown Prosecution Service and the dedicated prosecuting team in this court.
 
"However, the convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris will not, I hope, close the file on this murder. On the evidence before the court there are still three or four other killers of Stephen Lawrence at large."

 
By The Press Association

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