Stephen Lawrence Murder: The Racist ‘Lovable Rogues’ Face Justice: Corrupt Police Escape
FEW crimes have caused Anorak to feel a rage like that of the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993 in Eltham, south-east London. The murder is unsolved. But many have a good idea who did it. Gary Dobson, Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and David Norris, were named as suspects.
In 1997, the Daily Mail produced a front-page headline naming the five as “MURDERERS”. But none of the five were convicted for the murder. None of the five went to trial in a public prosecution.
Was this because they were innocent? Maybe. Or was it because the police never did their job properly. Did people get away with murder because the victim was black, the accused men were white and the police were “institutionally racist”?
In 2006, Richard Stone, who worked on the inquiry that found the police to be racist, opined:
“Sir William [Macpherson] himself had said at the time of the inquiry that there was a definite smell of corruption around this murder investigation – what he described as the collective failure of the murder investigation. We were able to find enough evidence of institutional racism being a significant factor, but we had insufficient evidence produced to us about corruption.”
David Norris’s father, Clifford Norris, was a local gangster. The allegation made by Detective Constable Neil Putnam is that Detective Sergeant John Davidson was in his pay.
The allegations were made in the BBC show The boys who killed Stephen Lawrence:
Was Putnam wrong? He was once jailed for corruption. Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve, now retired, told us:
“During the investigation I led, we feared corruption might have played a part in the failure of the first investigation.”
Scotland Yard offered:
“There was an investigation into John Davidson and any possible corrupt behaviour in the Lawrence case by him. If we had found any information or evidence we would have brought that to the inquiry’s attention.”
Davidson, now retired and running a bar in Spain, catergorically denied any wrongdoing.
An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission found no evidence to support the claims.
Richard Stone had more to say:
Davidson was responsible for investigating three key witnesses to the murder of Stephen Lawrence in April 1993. Not one of the three felt able to give evidence personally to the inquiry. I would like to be able quote from Davidson’s evidence to the inquiry in 1998 to show how bizarre and unprofessional he was, but unfortunately the transcripts of the inquiry are not yet available. Suffice to say that my memory is that Sir William was led to ask him: “Officer, are you here to help this inquiry or not?”
For what it is worth, Norris, a convicted gangster and drugs dealer, denies paying police:
“I never became involved with underhand dealings or giving money to coppers. Never did I give the police any money or a retainer to get them on the payroll. I don’t know any bent coppers..I was not involved, but there was corruption going on with police and other heavier gangs.”
In 2001, then commissioner of the Metropolitan police, Sir John Stevens, said he knew who killed Stephen Lawrence. You might know them too.
Four suspects in the murder of Stephen Lawrence have been ordered to pay damages to Lawrence’s close friend Duwayne Brooks, who was with him when he died and was attacked by the same gang. A judge at Central London county court has made an order that David Norris, Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt and Gary Dobson, along with 10 others involved in racist attacks, should pay nominal damages of £100 each to Brooks for assault, conspiracy and false imprisonment.
Now, David Norris and Gary Dobson are to stand trial for his murder.
Norris has form for throwing a drinks carton and shouting “nigger” at an off-duty detective constable, Gareth Reid, as he was crossing the road in front of the car he was travelling in. Reid is black. Neil Acourt was driving the car. Acourt now calls himself Neil Stuart. He is also a man linked to the murder.
Before they were jailed for the attack on Reid, Dobson and Acourt wrote to the racist London nail bomber, David Copeland: “We are being done for abusing a black copper. We hope we don’t get stuck in with a load of niggers.”
In 2008, then Met Police Commissioner Ian Blair, attempted to rewrite history:
“Anybody who read the Macpherson report would recognise an institution treating people in a very monochrome way. I don’t necessarily believe there was anything racist about the activities of the Metropolitan police in relation to the Lawrences. What the investigators did was they treated the Lawrences as they treated a whole range of working class people, and they just did not understand the expectations and experiences of the black community. That is what has changed.”
All that has changed is that white racism has found new targets.
In 1996, Dobson was acquitted of killing Lawrence in a private prosecution. But “compelling” new evidence has come to light and under the terms of a amendment to the double jeopardy law – you could not be tried for the same crime twice – Dobson will take the stand.
Dobson’s acquittal has been quashed. Luke Knight and Neil Acourt wer also acquitted at that trial.
And this November at the Old Bailey in central London, Dobson will stand trial. The new judgement sums up the events of that fateful night well:
“As they [Lawrence and his friend Duwayne Brooks] waited peacefully for the bus, a group of white youths crossed the road towards them. One of the youths used abusive racist language. This was followed by a sudden and immediate attack, as the group converged on or charged at them.
“Duwayne Brooks managed to make his escape, but Stephen Lawrence was felled. He was stabbed twice to the upper torso … Major blood vessels were severed. The injuries were fatal.
“Mortally wounded, Stephen Lawrence managed to get to his feet. He ran after Duwayne Brooks, but after a little while, he collapsed on the pavement. He died shortly afterwards in hospital.”
If you are not angry about the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the police connivances that protected a bunch of scumbags – or what Dobson called “lovable rogues” on an ITV show – you should be: