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Anorak | Stephen Lawrence Murder Trial Day 2: “What, What Nigger?”

Stephen Lawrence Murder Trial Day 2: “What, What Nigger?”

by | 15th, November 2011

STEPHEN Lawrence Murder Trial Day 2 – Gary Dobson, David Norris and “what, what, nigger?” The news round-up:

The killed teenager’s parents, Neville and Doreen, and his younger brother Stuart, were at the Old Bailey.

Telegraph: “Stephen Lawrence trial: teenager stabbed to death because of ‘colour of his skin”

The prosecutor, Mark Ellison QC, said that since Stephen was murdered in 1993 the case had gained “a very public profile” but he warned the jury not to allow “any recollection of past publicity” to play “any part whatsoever” in their consideration.

He’s no fool.

Mr Ellison tells the story:

“There was a group of about five white youths crossing over [the road]. One of the youths was heard by Duwayne Brooks to say: ‘What? What, n—-r?’ and at the same time the whole group suddenly began to rush towards them. Duwayne Brooks turned to Stephen and told him to run, but the group caught up.”

Brooks shouted:

“Get up and run, Steve!” But “the group quickly surrounded him”.

Ellison adds:

“Witnesses described how he was swallowed up by the weight of numbers and forced to the ground. They were leaning over him and we now know he was stabbed twice to his upper torso.”

Mr Ellison says the attacked suggested the group “were a group of like-minded young white men who acted together in the execution of this attack: they reacted together, as one, on seeing two young black men”.

Not carried out. Executed. He goes on:

“A racist comment was the precursor to their swift and totally unprovoked rushing at them. The one that did not manage to run away, Stephen Lawrence, was forced down and stabbed. The only discernible reason for this attack was the colour of his skin.

“The nature of this attack indicates that the group shared the same racial animosity and motivation, and that its members must have each realised that violence of the kind that did result, might be the result, when they all joined in the attack on the utterance of that racist comment.”

Evening Standard:

Gary Dobson and David Norris were trapped by fibres, blood and hair linked to Stephen Lawrence found in a cold case review of their clothing, the court has heard. But the jury was told the reliability of this dramatic new evidence will be “the most contentious issue of the case”.

Not so. The most contentious issue of this entire case has been the role of the police.

Mark Ellison QC, prosecuting, told jurors they could rely on the evidence as proof that the defendants had been part of the gang which killed Stephen. It could not prove they had wielded the knife and stabbed the teenager – but it did prove that they must have been there.

The defence will claim that the evidence has been contaminated and can not be trusted, he said.

The clothes were seized 15 days after the murder when police raided the suspects at their homes. But it was not until the review was launched in 2007 that dramatic improvements in forensic science enabled the microscopic evidence to be found.

It took police 15 days to get the clothes.

At Norris’s home police took away a pair of jeans and a blue sweatshirt. But in the Nineties forensic science techniques were so limited that scientists believed they had little chance finding evidence because of the 15-day gap between the murder and the clothing being seized.

“It was genuinely believed by the forensic science service that any fibres transferred would be likely to drop off,” said Mr Ellison. “All the suspects’ clothing was screened for blood and at that time the smallest blood grouping found was three square millimetres – small but not as small as what is possible now. It was genuinely considered then it was not worth looking for any smaller amount.”

When the Lawrence family brought a private prosecution against the suspects in 1995 the forensic scientists believed the evidence they had found was nothing more than “weak” or “very weak”. –

The Guardian:

Sixteen fibres and one tiny bloodstain put Dobson at the scene of the murder, according to the crown.

• The bloodstain on the collar of a jacket owned by Dobson provided an almost full DNA profile of Lawrence.

• There was a less than a one in one billion chance that the blood found on the jacket was not that of the dead boy.

• There was “extremely strong evidence” showing that seven fibres and two black hairs found on two items of Norris’s clothing also came from Lawrence. “The evidence was discovered for the first time during a cold case review that began in 2007,” said Ellison.

The Telegraph:

Dobson gave the names of Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Luke Knight and Danny Caetano.

He did not mention David Norris, and when the name was put to him “he said he didn’t know who he was and hadn’t met him”, the prosecutor said.

Unknown to Dobson, however, the police had placed the home of Neil and Jamie Acourt under surveillance following the murder and had photographed Dobson there with Norris on April 26, 1993.

“It seems that Gary Dobson was trying to distance himself from knowing David Norris,” said prosecutor Mark Ellison QC.

David Norris’s father, Clifford Norris, was a local gangster (left).

He left Maidstone prison in January 2001 after serving his sentence for intent to supply drugs and possessing a submachine-gun.

Norris, like his son, has struggled to distance himself from a case that has become one of the defining incidents of Nineties Britain. Ten days ago allegations emerged that the investigation into the 18-year-old A-level student’s murder was deliberately botched because an officer investigating the murder was on Norris’s payroll. It was a well-versed concern. The ‘Norris factor’ emerges at key points in Sir William Macpherson’s 1999 report into the murder of Lawrence. Macpherson’s report deemed Norris an ‘evil influence’ whose ‘very damaging’ role prevented witnesses from coming forward.

Sky News:

Dobson’s lawyer Timothy Roberts QC said his client was at home at his parent’s house when Stephen Lawrence was attacked.

Norris’s lawyer Stephen Batten QC said the clothes seized from his home were not even his, but belonged to a brother.

Daily Mail:

The prosecutor admitted that some of the exhibits had travelled ‘to and fro’ between scientists, a number of police investigations and inquiries.

‘It will be necessary to follow how these and other exhibits have travelled and how they have been stored and handled over the years between this murder and when the new material came to be discovered by LGC in 2007 and 2008,’ he said.

‘You will be hearing about an unfortunate mix up in the records kept by the FSS which made it difficult to establish precisely when Gary Dobson’s grey jacket was taped before it was examined in August 1995.

‘They question will be (if it was done) when it was first examined in October 1993 or in 1995 when scientists came in to do the review.’

Mr Ellison also described a second incident in 2008 when a police officer creating a computerised schedule for the investigation decided to make ‘some deliberate alterations’ to the records because of problems in his personal life.

The schedule had to be started again and completed by a different officer, jurors were told.

Mr Ellison said: ‘Our case is that while there may be a number of hypothetical or theoretical opportunities for some degree of cross-transfer to have occurred, a detailed examination of the steps that would have had to be involved for the results of the new evidence that there is in this case, demonstrates there is no realistic possibility that this new scientific evidence got there by contamination of exhibits.

‘Rather these two men were members of the group of young white men who attacked Stephen Lawrence.’

Later, Timothy Roberts, QC, for Dobson, told the jury that the clothing had been contaminated while in police custody and the items did not come from the attack.

Mr Justice Treacy had earlier warned the jurors to ignore last week’s television series The Jury in which a juror looked on the internet before reaching a verdict.

He told them: “That was fiction, this is real life.”

No need for the internet to inform the jurors. No-one who follows the news or who has lived in the UK can fails to know the name Stephen Lawrence and the bloody stain his death placed on the police and London.

 



Posted: 15th, November 2011 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink