Time For Justice ‹ Panorama (2022)

This programme contains racist In the rural Highlands of Jamaica


lies the body of a black teenager murdered by a gang of white racists


18 years ago. His name represents one of the most shameful episodes


of British race relations history. It has come to symbolise an iconic


struggle against injustice and sends a shudder through the


corridors of power. His name is Stephen Lawrence. The murder in


South London... Stephen Lawrence's family are determined to carry on


their long search... Out of the blue he was attacked and stabbed.


Stephen Lawrence's 19th birthday, his family lead a vigil... For 18


years, Doreen and Neville Lawrence have struggled to win justice for


their murdered son. The justice system is saying you can do


whatever you like to black people and we will not do anything to you.


This is a story of how an ordinary family exposed one of Britain's


biggest organisations as institutionally racist. One of the


factors in my mind was the family were black. Since 1993, the prime


suspects have treated the justice system with content. They were


laughing in our faces. They knew that was it. They had got away with


murder. Panorama has been granted exclusive access to Doreen Lawrence


and her family. The fact that somebody has been held to account


and they have gone to prison for him, that will be the closure.


follow the story of one woman's relentless fight for justice on the


day that time ran out for two of APPLAUSE


Minutes ago, Gary Dobson and David Norris have been found guilty of


the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Despite these verdicts, today is


not a cause for celebration, how can I celebrate when my son lies


buried? When I cannot see him, or speak to him, when will I see him


grow up and go to university, or get married, or have children?


it not been for the tenacity of the Lawrences and especially Doreen,


this day might never have come. But there is a private, untold story of


this woman's quest for justice. This is the story of the Stephen


Lawrence saga that you have not yet heard through the eyes of his


mother. He was the first born. I remember I wanted to have a son so


I was more than over the moon when Stephen was born. As a baby, he had


a temperament, Stephen did. That hadn't changed while he was growing


up. He was determined. He knew what he wanted. He was very creative. He


loved drawing. He took part in all the sports that happened in school.


He took part in the mini-marathon in '88. How did he do in that?


came 100 and something. The fact he finished the course was quite good.


He was like that older brother, that as a younger brother you could


never get to that level, as much as you tried, as much - it didn't


matter how hard I worked or trained, when I thought I got to a certain


place, I would look up and he would move that marker a step forward.


is hard to believe he would have been 37. I think about him all the


time. Would he have had a family? Where would he have been in his


career? Stuff like that. I still have him as being a young man.


the British public, the Stephen Lawrence story begins in South East


London on April 22nd, 1993. The events of that evening and the


aftermath would change the face of race relations in Britain. 18-year-


old Stephen Lawrence and his friend Duwayne Brooks found themselves in


Eltham trying to catch a bus home. This was an area that had already


seen three racist murders in as many years. There is a bus coming.


Can you see it coming? A gang of white youths crossed the road. One


of them shouting racist abuse. saw the first person who shouted,


"What, nigger?" He hit Steve from up above, straight down. At the


time of the blow, he did scream. I have never heard anybody scream


like that before. The attack was brief, lasting only ten seconds,


long enough to inflict two deadly stab wounds. Steve, get up. Stephen,


let's go. The word "nigger" is used at the scene. It is a sad fact that


in anything else called a racist murder people look around for other


explanations. It is a defence mechanism among white people to say,


"There must be some other explanation" or, "There must be


some qualifying factors." Here there are no qualifying factors.


They attack this young man because he's black. Everything points to


that. Stephen managed to run more than 200 yards before he collapsed.


This was a remarkable feat as the knife had severed two of his main


arteries. Steve, get up! Steve! Steve, get up! He died where he


fell on a cold pavement in Eltham in a pool of his own blood around


People talk about the knock on the door and my knock on the door


happened. We drove to the hospital. I remember as I walked in, I saw a


young man in front of me, I recognised Duwayne straightaway. I


asked him what had happened. He wasn't able to answer me. A nurse


ushered us into a room and asked us to wait there. Then we were told


that Stephen had died. It was like watching a drama, it was like he's


died, no, he's not, he can't be. Within hours, five boys would


emerge as a prime suspect and would remain so for the next 18 years.


They are Gary Dobson, David Norris, Neil Acourt, his brother, Jamie,


and Luke Knight. Over the years, they have strutted their way


through an inquest and an inquiry whilst three of them, Dobson,


Knight and Neil were acquitted of the murder. I followed the case and


in 2006 I made a programme raising new concerns about the suspects'


alibis. The case had been dormant, but a fresh review was launched


resulting in a dramatic discovery of new scientific evidence and in


2010, two of the five, David Norris and Gary Dobson, were charged with


murder. Under the double jeopardy law, Dobson cannot be tried twice


for the same crime without a special hearing at the Court of


Appeal where it must be proved that the evidence is new and compelling.


Our journey with Doreen Lawrence begins over a year ago in a


barristers' chambers in London. When they said they thought they


had more on Dobson than they did on Norris... Dobson... Doreen, her QC


and lawyer are preparing for a meeting with the Met Police and the


Crown Prosecution Service. Doreen has already been told what the new


evidence is. I will remind you what they found was Stephen's blood on


Dobson's coat and fibre... Is this new forensic evidence strong enough


to overcome the double jeopardy hurdle? DNA is a strong piece of


evidence. So when I hear that there's a link between the suspects


and the victim based upon DNA, then I think that that is - I can take


an optimistic outlook. Doreen hasn't. No surprise because of the


years of failures. They seem to be fairly confident.


To me, until the time comes when I hear the verdict where they find


them guilty, that is the only time I'm going to be able to say, "Thank


God for that" - and yes, I believe that will happen. I can't allow


myself to be there, I really can't. In her heart of hearts, she wants


this to be a success. I think if she doesn't get it, I can't imagine


what affect it would have on her. There is much at stake. Not just


for the family. For the Met, the Lawrence case has represented a


running sore on the force's reputation. They have invested


millions of pounds, they have invested everything in this. This


is their attempt at redemption and if they get it wrong, they are in


for a nasty surprise. The Met are terrified of Doreen Lawrence?


most people are! But for now, the meeting with the prosecutors has


gone well. We were very pleased they were willing to have the

(Video) Stephen Lawrence: Time for Justice (2012)


meeting so Doreen could meet the people involved. And get a feeling


of their approach, the feelings that they have about the case


because Doreen has been there before. They are very confident. I


have been there before, when we have been able to say we got this


and this. It is the Court of Appeal, that will be the test. The court


has to decide in one case whether in fact it can go back for trial


before. In order to do that, they have to meet a high threshold. That


will be the next big test. Over the years, several re-investigations


have failed to crack the case. It was the first investigation which


was crucial and it was hampered by incompetence and "institutional


racism" from the outset. As Stephen lay dying in April 1993, officers


made a series of fundamental errors and assumptions which would haunt


the Met for years to come. Where's an ambulance? Call an ambulance.


Stephen's friend described a racist assault pointing out the direction


the attackers had fled. They ran up Dickson Road... The police appeared


to be focusing their suspicions on him. I was in shock. I didn't know


he had been stabbed. They were more interested in how he got those


injuries. Was it me that attacked him? Did we have a fight? Or were


we in a gang fight? Initially believing Stephen had received a


blow to the head, police failed to detect the real cause of the


emerging pool of blood - two five- inch stab wounds. Officers were as


panicked as I was. And seemed to be in shock just as I was. They were


also repelled from touching him because of the blood, like I was.


Two passers-by were Christians on their way home from a prayer


meeting. They were with Stephen during his last moments. They told


how police failed to provide any medical attention to Stephen.


was no attempt by the officers to try and stop the blood. The blood


was fairly visible? Yes. It's a sad thing to leave the world with so


much hate directed against you. I said, "You are loved." I wanted to


know that somebody cared. We tried to pray over him, "Lord heal him."


I wish I had enough faith so I could try and raise him from the


Two officers tried to take a pulse, but no first aid was administered.


By the time the paramedics arrived at 10.55pm, Stephen was already


dead. I checked all of those officers had


done first aid courses. All of them had no idea what first aid is about.


I said "What is the ABC of first aid?" They didn't even know what it


stood for. None of them touched him properly at all. They didn't do any


first aid at all. There is this confused scene and the police


inspector arrives. He would say later "takes charge". He made a


series of assumptions about what had happened for which there were


no grounds and for which the Macpherson Inquiry would later


conclude he made those sultss because Duwayne and Stephen were


REPORTER: The death of their son has left the Lawrences believing


London is cruel and hostile. The family said they didn't want


Stephen laid to rest in racist soil. The Lawrences were never able to


grieve in peace. Just days after the funeral, they received news


that the Crown Prosecution Service was dropping murder charges against


two of the suspects. But for Doreen Lawrence that would never do and


this signalled the beginning of her long battle against the police and


the judiciary. It's March 2011 and I've come to Jamaica with Doreen.


I'm hoping to learn about her upbringing, which might give me an


insight into what has driven this woman all these years. Doreen was


born as lived in the rural Highlands of Jamaica and used to


play amongst the trees here. But 1993, this quiet place took on a


new significance. It's where Stephen is buried. The Lawrences


keep its location a fiercely guarded secret, but Doreen has


You can tell by the amount of years I've been coming, the amount of


flowers that's been brought. It's always a very sad time and as his


picture's beginning to wear out, I think, I'll have to get another one


done, for him. I'll get another one done. This is a peaceful place for


Doreen, a place to reflect and quietly speak to her son. But I am


slightly taken aback when the anger she still feels rises to the


surface. I'm really pleased that I have buried him here. Because had


he been buried in the UK, his grave would have been desecrated so many


times. Nobody knows where he is. The country didn't deserve to have


his body any way. They took his life. They didn't deserve him, so...


I think it's still the best thing that we did, that we brought him


here, so he can be next to his great grandmother, so she can help


look after him. I try and talk to him in my head, I just talk to him


about how we are, what we're doing. I like to have that time that I can


talk to him. This is a side to Doreen Lawrence the public never


gets to see. Her reputation is one of an impassioned campaigner and a


formidable opponent. I wanted to know how those who knew her as a


child remembered her. We're going to meet a lady, who seems to know


me. I must have been very young. Hello. You remember me? Yes!


looked after Doreen's father until he died and has clear memories of a


young Doreen and a childhood treat that led to her nickname, icy. In


Britain that would mean that you were quite tough, as a child, is


that why she was called icy? No. I think it's something in the family


tradition. All I know that icy hard working persons. I'm definitely


that. They are kind persons. definitely that. Loving. I think


I'm that. Yes, I know. I know. been a short trip and there's just


time for a final visit to Stephen's grave. Though many years have


passed since his death, these moments do not get any easier.


like a bitter sweet moment, really. Yes, I have to get home, but at the


same time, it's saying goodbye to him again. It's always again and


again. By the time you come back here, to see Stephen again, what


would you hope to be telling him? That somebody's gone to prison for


his death. Somebody, hopefully. That's what I'd like to be able to


tell him. Do you think a positive result in this trial would give you


closure? I think where I'm concerned that he's no longer here,


that will always be there for me. But the fact that somebody's been


held to account and they're going to prison for him, that would be


Doreen knows she must put the franc wilt of Jamaica behind her and


prepare for what awaits over the coming months. The countdown to one


of the most eagerly anticipated murder trials in recent history has


begun. In 1993, Gary Dobson and David


Norris were part of the gang of five who have always been the prime


suspects for this murder. Led by Neil, the eldest of the Acourt


brothers, the gang had a fearsome reputation for carrying and using


knives. Dobson was more of a follower, if perhaps brighter than


the others. Norris was a different story, aged just 16, he was a


violent son of a drug dealing gangster.


Within 48 hours of Stephen's murder, the police received no fewer than


26 tip-offs mostly naming the same group of boys. The boys who did the


murder, they're five of them. They're nuts.... Involved in a


stabbing... They call themselves the Crays.... Despite this, no


arrests were made, not even when a police surveillance team watched


Jamie Acourt leaving his house carrying a bin liner, potentially


full of evidence, get into a car and drive away. The police wasn't


interested in Stephen. They weren't interested in catching his killers

(Video) Roy Jenkins and Tony Benn debate : The European Communities membership referendum, 1975 - Panorama


at all. They assumed that Stephen must know his killers, that we must


be into crime and so was Stephen and suggesting that they found a


glove on Stephen, as if to say, he was into crime. It's like they're


assuming that all black families are criminals. Spring 2011. It's a


double jeopardy hearing at the High Court. Only Gary Dobson is subject


to these proceed gdz, since David Norris has never stood trial for


Stephen's murder. Everything hinges on this hearing. If the CPS cannot


persuade the three judges the new evidence meets the legal threshold,


there will be no trial at all. Doreen and Imran are preparing for


court. We're second day into, to being at the High Court. Once the


witnesses are done, the lawyers make submissions to the court as to


whether the acquittal should be overturned or not. Once that's


heard, submissions made, then we wait. If we get through and the


judges say, yes, we can go to trial, then there's a much stronger


possibility. At the same time, I'm a little bit cautious. I'm not


going to say, yeah, I'll just think, this is fantastic. We are going to


get there. Thank you very much. Another day.


Prosecuters believe they've found the evidence proving Gary Dobson


was part of the group of boys who They claim that at some point


during the attack, possibly as a knife was drawn back for a second


strike, a tiny spot of Stephen's blood became airborne. It was this


microscopic blob, measuring less than half a millimetre, which


eventually landed on the collar of Dobson's jacket and crucially,


soaked into the weave. New advanced in DNA technology enabled


scientists to prove it was Stephen's, with odds of a billion


to one that it belonged to anybody else. Clothes fibres belonging to


Stephen were also found, but it was this minute blood stain that would


form the central plank of the prosecution case. There were fibres


that had already been found. They'd been found way back in 1995 and


1993. We also followed a line of hair, human hair, that appeared to


be quite a considerable amount of human hair. As a result of that,


they realised there was a potential for blood as well. At that moment,


I think, it became very significant what we'd found. But the defence


has an explanation for all of this, contamination. They say that dried


blood fragments and fibres from Stephen's blood-stained clothes


must have escaped through degenerated seals throughout years


of scientific testing. This claim is bolstered by a litany of


examples of poor evidence handling, when various key exhibits have been


stored or even photographed together. Dobson's team insist this


fatally undermines the prosecution evidence and that it doesn't


deserve to go before a jury. But for Doreen and Imran, it's the


first they've heard of it. arrests, all the information didn't


collect the evidence. It's a catalogue of stuff. Listening to it


now, nothing much has changed. I heard it, I was shocked. It's


staggering that if you wanted to pick any case the Metropolitan


Police wanted to make sure they had dealt with properly, after all the


criticisms, this would be this one. Despite that, things were not being


kept properly. What's concerning me now is that I can hear, if this


goes to trial, how the defence are going to make hay with this and


they're going to suggest to the jury, you can't trust this, putting


legal hat on, looking at it, hopefully objectively, you'd say,


yeah, they've got over that threshold. I want to be able to say


to you, I hope I can say to you, I was right. OK, well, I hope so too.


It's Good Friday, it's also the anniversary of Stephen's death. And


whilst the family waits for the judge's decision, Stuart Lawrence


addresses a special memorial service to his brother. I'd just


like to share with you two really good memories that we both shared,


me and Stephen, every Sunday. As far back as I can remember, we used


to come to this church. I can look around and I can see memories...


the early days I questioned why wasn't God there to protect


Stephen? I had real difficulty in that, in the early days. I'd just


like to say, I'm really grateful for all the help and support you


give my family over all these years, especially my mum. And then I start


thinking that everything happens for a reason and I think all the


things that's happened since Stephen's death, even though he had


such a cruel death, it's like it was meant to be, because all the


changes happened. Hadn't Stephen died, a lot of things would never


have happened. That's the things I start thinking about whenever I'm


People say to me, well, how strong you are - I don't think I'm strong.


I think there is something there carrying me and helping me through,


so I'm not doing it on my own. If there is one thing I must say, I


don't forgive the boys who have killed Stephen. They took away


Stephen's life. There's nothing in them, in their behaviour, anything


to show that they regret what their actions have done and the pain that


Today the judges deliver their decision and the Lawrences learn


Gary Dobson will stand trial for Stephen's murder alongside David


Norris. If we get today over with, we can evaluate from there, so to


speak. Yeah, it's going to be hard. I'm not sure both individuals are


going to be in court today. I suppose I am looking forward to see


what they look like now. In the past, say ten years or so, I have


not seen so and everybody has grown up and got a bit older. Stephen was


never allowed to get older. They have got on with their lives as if


nothing has happened. It is like, "Yeah, you thought you got away


with it." With a bit of luck, we will say, "Yeah, we've got you," -


well not quite, but we are on the We go into Court 4 and we get the


decision. The prosecution are allowed to tell the family and


myself an hour before what that decision is going to be so we will


know an hour before. So we will go into court knowing the decision. If


it is a good decision, that will be an hour on cloud nine. If it is a


bad one, that hour will be a very It is the result Doreen has been


waiting for. The new evidence is strong enough to go in front of a


jury. Gary Dobson and David Norris will stand trial. It's been a long


time in coming, but we still have a long way to go. So, at this moment


in time, all I can think about is Stephen and that perhaps somewhere


down the line we will finally get justice for him. It's been a long


time for us to get to this position. Even though you hear all of it, but


is it real? After 18 years, are we going to have a trial with the CPS


saying, "We want to make something happen"? It's a bit surreal. Is


this really happening? Is this some sort of dream? Is this going to be


the start of a big hope that ends in disappointment? There will be a


trial. It is 18 years too late? Yeah. The worry is having heard


some of the evidence, which is fine at this stage, is it enough for a


trial? Doreen is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. From the


beginning, she found herself up against an establishment that


didn't want to listen. Within 48 hours of Stephen's murder, there


were already strong grounds for arrest but it took an intervention


from the world's number one humanitarian Nelson Mandela before


the police moved. It is as if they are condoning what these people are


doing. Next day, despite no significant new evidence, police


started arresting the suspects, including Dobson and Norris. But


during interviews, the boys who were all aged 16 and 17, gave



A vast array of weapons was seized but none could be proved to be the


David Norris also remained tight- Gary Dobson was much more talkative.


As well he might be. Dobson had some explaining to do. He had


already told police during their house to house enquiries he stayed


home all night. By the time of this interview the police knew otherwise.


A local youth had heard about the stabbing, put two and two together


and turned up at the Acourts' house an hour after the murder. There's


been a stabbing. You boys don't know nothing about it? Why should


we? This witness would later claim he saw Dobson, Norris and the


Acourts cleaning themselves up and acting suspiciously. He's dead.


now you've told us... Word got out this boy had spoken to the police


about what he had seen. Dobson Then Dobson repeatedly lied about


But unknown to Dobson, he had been photographed with Norris outside


the Acourts' house a week before. Many items of clothing had been


seized including a jacket from Dobson and a pair of jeans from


Norris' room but they would yield no useful forensic evidence, for


now. By the summer of 1993, the case ground to a halt. Today,


Doreen's full-time job is keeping Stephen's case in the public eye.


In a lasting memorial, she helped set up she is the director of the


Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in Greenwich. Tonight is about


celebrating the life of Stephen Lawrence. Doreen hates the


limelight but never shirks from being the public face of the


campaign. We are honoured to be part of the story with Doreen and


Neville and the family. Doreen and Neville divorced in 1999. Events


like these are amongst the only times they meet. These balloons are


balloons that have Stephen's name and his signature on them. We are


going to invite the family first to release their balloons... God bless


you, Stephen. Ladies and gentlemen, a toast to Stephen Lawrence. May


his name rise and rise and rise. are here to look back at what's


happened since his death and to look forward to the future and the


work of the Trust. What I'm most proud of is having this magnificent


building and the work that takes place in it, working hard to make


Stephen Lawrence' name and all the achievements to be a lasting legacy


for years to come. Thank you. APPLAUSE


I lost a loved one. I don't know if I would be able to say things that


she does, do the things she does, put a brave face on and meet


hundreds of people and all she wants to do is to stick her head


under the pillow and just grieve. I have great respect for that, huge


admiration. I can carry on with my job. Her, this is her life. I'm so


in awe of the fact she can continue At some point, I would love to be


able to say bye-bye and see the Trust support itself. It is hard. I


am just a regular mum, you know, who has lost a son and I have


campaigned. I think if from the word go had the police caught his


killers, and did what they needed to do, nobody would ever hear from


me or know who I am. I have been divorced for the past, what, 11


years. Would it be nice to be married? Probably not. Things were


probably going wrong before Stephen's death. I have had nobody


in my life since then. You can be out with loads of people and you


After the failure of the first investigation in 1993, the family


intensified the pressure on the Met and the fresh inquiry was launched


the following year. This time, detectives set about their task


with vigour and installed a tiny camera in a plug socket of Gary


Dobson's flat. The footage showed Dobson, pictured here with the


large knife, Norris and others at play and in their element. The


They behave in a way which, as evidence of racism, is shocking


almost beyond belief. Certainly almost beyond unbearing. The film


shows Neil Acourt with a knife virtually all the time. As he is


talking, he is waving the knife around, he is making stabbing


movements in the air, he is making a strange bowling movement with the


knife in a sinister way. Rereplicates the way Stephen


Lawrence is attacked. It is evidence of a violent obsession


with knives, but not evidence of murder. The investigation stalled


again. The Lawrences frustrated at yet another failure took matter


into their own hands and in 1996 brought a private prosecution.


NEWSREEL: The parents of Stephen Lawrence arrive at the Old Bailey...


The charges were laid against Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and Neil Acourt


but the case rested on Duwayne Brooks who had picked out Acourt


and Knight in an ID parade. But his evidence was ruled inadmissible.


don't think what's happened today is fair comment. My wife is not


here today. I remember collapsing when I went home and they would get


a doctor to see me. I think that is probably one of the first times I


have seen a doctor since Stephen's death. I have been holding myself


for so long that I kept myself going and that was probably the


last straw and it affected me quite badly. Three of the suspects,


including Dobson, walked free from court. Because of the way the law


stood at the time, they believed In a store room at the back of the


Trust, Doreen is taking me through a box of Stephen's belongings. Who


is that? He was the one... I can see that despite the public profile,


Doreen guards closely her private memories of him. These are some


pictures that are of him growing up. I didn't like the idea of too many


photos of Stephen being out. I just think that everybody just seems to


want to have photos of him. I think no. The one is enough. This is his


cap from the Cubs and the Scouts. He got his bronze and silver badge,


he didn't quite get his gold. This is just his work. Then when I look


at the date of when he did that, he did it on April 7, 15 days before


he died, when he did that. When you say you can't read it? No, I can't


read it. No. Why not? I find it difficult. When I look at what he


could achieve and, it's his work here, no, I'm not ready to read


this yet. Not ready to read this yet. In the early days I know there


was days when I would lock myself in my room. I didn't come out. That


was really a dark place. I know once you're in there, it's very


difficult to take yourself back out. I'm always worried about allowing


myself to go back there. With just two months until the trial,


Doreen's decided to have a family barbeque. It's a rare opportunity


to see her and Stuart relaxing. It's a good way to get the family


together, to spend some time together, socialising, you know.


That's stressful times and stuff. I hope they're prosecuted for my mum.


It would put this to rest and her to move on. That's the most


important thing to me really. have you got for your old auntie,


darling? Doreen's sister has been a crucial pillar of support


throughout the years. She didn't ask for this. This is not the life


she planned for herself. I think from the 2 2nd April 1993, her


world became dark. I'm hoping by the end of the year, there will be


a light. What we need is justice. I don't think she'll stop until she


hears "guilty". It was the Lawrence family's relentless search for


answers which eventually forced the full public inquiry in 1998


REPORTER: Doreen Lawrence has been highly critical of the police


investigation into her son's death. The Macpherson Inquiry would become


the water shed moment in British race relations history. It exposed


the Met and in particular its first investigation into Stephen's murder


as institutionally racist. I think she went through the inquiry almost

(Video) Justice Denied The Greatest Scandal prt 1


saying "I told you so. I told you so." Look, this is what was


happening and I knew it all along. The crucial thing about the


institutional racism, is that there was a collective failure of the


police, as we call it, a collective failure. Almost every decision that


should have been made didn't get made. If it did get made, there


aren't records of it. If it was made, the decision was wrong.


William Macpherson called for a complete overhaul of police


training and crucially a change in the double jeopardy law, which


eventually led to the current prosecution. But the inquiry would


be remembered as much for its damning verdict of the met as it


would for the scenes outside after the five suspects had finished


their evidence and revealed very little once again. They were just


laughing in our faces. They knew that was it. They'd got away with


murder. People just had enough of them and was pelting them with all


sorts of fruit, bottles and all sorts of things thrown at them. But


they came across as exactly the type of person that they are, evil,


It's the first day of the trial, the day she's been waiting for for


18 years and I had, perhaps naively, expected Doreen and Stuart to be


more upbeat. Just numb at the moment. The media attention is


going to be even more intense than ever. It's like something new, you


know, it may be going on for 18 years, but it's still something new.


Listening to the news this morning, you know, it's so clinical, how the


reporters, how they talk about it. It's just a matter of fact. It's a


statement. It's emotional involvement for me. Most of the


stuff is resting on contamination. What the prosecution is saying for


us is that they are ready for that, they have answers for it. Dare I


say if we meet in five weeks' time, I think we'll have a conviction.


What do they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating? Until


that happens, nobody can be certain. Are you ready? If there's such a


thing as being ready. Just put one foot in front of the other really,


as I've been doing for the past 18 In the following weeks the


Lawrences would hear testimony from dozens of police and forensic


witnesses. And for the first time, the case against David Norris was


revealed. On a sweatshirt found in his bedroom, during the original


search of his house, there were six fibres that matched Stephen's


trousers. Also, a fibre that matched Stephen's polo shirt. On


his jeans, there was found amongst the debris on the surface, two very,


very small fragments of hair. And mitochondrial DNA of that hair


matches Stephen Lawrence and his maternal relatives. Norris would


tell the jury the garments didn't belong to him. Dobson said he


hadn't worn the key jacket for years before the murder. Dobson's


defence meant a stinging attack on the principal evidence, the blood


stain on the jacket collar. They claim that one of these dried blood


fragments from Stephen found their way to Dobson's jacket through


cross-contamination. When scientists tested the jacket for


traces of saliva, they sprayed it with water before covering it with


a paper sheet and wait to squeeze them together. It's during this


process, they say, that one of Stephen's blood flakes became


liquid again and soaked into the fabric. The defence didn't offer


any scientific experts of their own. But the lead prosecution scientist


carried out a series of tests to see if this saliva examination


could explain the blood stain. During our experimentation we were


never able to replicate the stain on the collar using dried flakes of


blood from Stephen Lawrence or from the blood from the packaging. The


nature and appearance of that stain indicated that it was the result of


wet blood landing on that garment. And it was not the result of the


testing that had been conducted subsequently on the item. One of


the explanations for the stain was that the wearer of that jacket was


at the scene of the attack? Yes. But the jury was told how a


comprehensive police review of the handling of each exhibit over the


past 18 years exposed a series of contamination plunders. Given that


this is one of the most High profile, unsolved murders in


Britain, never mind in the Met, wouldn't the Lawrences be entitled


to expect that these exhibits would have been better looked after?


I think that they were things I wish were better, but they didn't


affect the evidence that we've placed before the court. I'm not a


scientist. I go to scientists and had they have said to me, well,


that is a disaster. Then I would have, my heart would have sank. But


at no stage did we get that. Four weeks into the trial, after intense


legal debate, a jury was shown the police surveillance video for the


very first time, 17 years after it Both defendants took to the stand


to denounce their extreme racism and proclaim their innocence.


Alibis were offered. Stephen and Pauline Dobson swore their son was


at home at the time of the murder, as did Norris's mother. The


defendants' fate is now in the hands of the jury, which, after six


weeks of evidence, is sent out to After deliberating for more than


eight-and-a-half hours, the jury has finally returned its verdict,


Gary Dobson and David Norris have been found guilty of the murder of


Stephen Lawrence. They now face prison. For the Lawrences, after a


wait of more than 18 years, justice has finally been delivered.


In her only post verdict television interview, Doreen told me of her


relief. Just so numb. I think when the, when we were told that the


jury was, the verdict was in, all of a sudden you just feel gosh,


panic, whereas before, even though I was sort of really holding myself,


it seems to have just got even tighter still. So when they said


that you know, you just feel something inside like snap, to say


thank God. When it's both of them, that's even more. You were very


emotional in court. Was it like an outpouring of 18 years of... Grief.


Some part of that I feel that it's just releasing some of the stress


and strain that's been happening, that's been building up for the


past 18 years. It's not all out. I just think I'm still, you know, am


I going to keep pinching myself to say that they've actually been


found guilty? I think it will take a little while to sink in.


Doreen Lawrence this verdict may represent a chance for closure. For


the Met and for Britain, the legacy of Stephen Lawrence will endure.


This case is extraordinary, which has had more impact on policing


than any other single case I can think of in modern times and


possibly in the history of the met. The way we approach homicide


investigations is utterly changed. The way we approach working with


families and with communities is completely changed. The face of the


met has changed. I meet many people in my work, and the one thing they


all say is what a fantastic job the Lawrences have done. That's white


people as well as black people. It's not necessarily just about


black and white. It's about whatever background you're from, it


means you can't get away with doing the things that you did before.


Even after all this time, the name of Stephen Lawrence is instantly


recognised and even among people who weren't alive when he was


killed, the name alone is a key to a whole series of issues and


thoughts, positive ideas about Britain and race. If that's Stephen


Lawrence's legacy, it's a very fine one. We should be very grateful to


him. Stephen's name will go down in



history for all sorts of things. That's a positive. I'd rather have


my son here than having his name attached to a legacy. Gary Dobson


and David Norris are now convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.



1. The Prime Minister - Panorama
(Dominic Naylor)
2. 1999 Clydach Murders: BBC Panorama, South Wales Police Corruption, Dai Morris, Stephen Lewis
(Peter Borenius)
3. Bananarama - Cruel Summer (Official Video)
(London Recordings)
4. UK Supreme Court: The Highest Court in the Land - Documentary
(Arfan Rauf)
5. The Cardiff Three & The Murder Of Lynette White - 'Unsafe Convictions' - 1992
(Saffron Saffron)
6. Mysterious Dreams - Part 2 | Adaalat | अदालत | Fight For Justice
(LIV Crime)

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