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Anorak | The nine other suspects in Stephen Lawrence’s murder

The nine other suspects in Stephen Lawrence’s murder

by | 3rd, January 2012

GARY Dobson and David Norris murdered Stephen Lawrence. They were the only two members of the gang linked to the murder to stand trial. Brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt were not at the Old Bailey. There are nine remaining suspects in Stephen’s murder. And yes they are all linked to the Acourts. When Stephen Lawrence was murdered, Neil Acourt (now called Neil Stuart) was 17; Jamie, Acourt was 16.

Will any of that gang appear in court? There is no evidence against the Acourts. Are they the victims of a smear campaign? Are they among the police’s nine remaining suspects?

Superintendent Jill Bailey says:

“We all know from the evidence that was given in court that there were more than two attackers involved in this attack.”

And they had the police on their side. Bailey adds:

“I am always hopeful because there have been quite a few cases over the years of forensic improvements, the changing of allegiances and new information is reported to us.”

In short, who will grass? Who will tell the truth?

As he left court, Dobson told the jury:

“You have condemned an innocent man here, I hope you can live with yourselves.”

In the hours that followed Stephen Lawrence’s murder 26 people named the Acourt gang. The police then did nothing.

The police received two letters. One said:

“The people involved in last night’s stabbing are: Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, David Norris and Gary Dobson… These b*****ds are definitely involved and must be stopped because they keep getting away with it. Approach these sh*** with care. Do us a favour and prove it. Good luck.”

Another note said: Be careful when you arrest them. The house is full of knives.

An anonymous source named Neil Acourt and David Norris as members of “group of youths on the Kidbrooke Estate who always carry knives and threaten people” .

The police waited over two weeks to arrest the brothers and their pals. Two weeks went by while Dobson and Norris went about unchallenged. Two weeks. It seems incredible. But, then, Stephen Lawrence was black, David Norris father, Clifford Norris, allegedly had some police officers in his pay, and the police were institutionally racist “.

Four days after the murder, the police did start to watch the Acourts’ home. They saw David Norris and Gary Dobson visit. They saw men carrying black bin bags out of the houses. The police never asked them what was inside. They just watched. They never followed the men. They never saw where they wer going. They just sat and watched.

Why did the police wait four days to watch the Acouts? Well, we’re not sure. But the police had prioritised the surveillance of a young black man wanted on suspicion of theft Stephen Lawrence was lower on the list of to dos.

Fifteen days after Stephen Lawrence was murdered that Dobson and the Acourts were arrested. That was 7 May 1993.

When the police called to arrest David Norris, he was out. To gain access to Norris’s mock Tudor mansion in Berryfield Close, Chislehurst, police had to ring on the intercom.

At the time of Stephen’s murder Clifford Norris was on the run after being sought on drugs charges, having been so from 1988 until he was arrested in 1994″. (Incidentally, in July 2010, Gary Dobson was jailed for trafficking £350,000 of cannabis. He was two months into his five-year sentence when he was charged with Stephen’s murder.) Was Clifford Norris a factor?

Three days later, Norris went to the police station. Luke Knight was arrested nearly a month later on 3 June.

A mere 20 months after Gary Dobson and David Norris has murdered Stephen Lawrence, the police bugged Dobson’s rented flat, the one he shared with Charlie Martin who was later jailed for eight years for stabbing a man.

The footage was brutal. Neil Acourt was recorded saying:

“I reckon every n***** should be chopped up and left with stumps.”

He was filmed weilding a knife. Dobson said “some [blacks] are all right ”. Neil Acourt said they were all “c***s” . Norris expressed a desire to “kill every black c*** every Paki every copper” .

Dobson said:

“He said ‘The f****** black b****** I am going to kill him’. I cracked up laughing. I went ‘what black geezer?’. He went ‘The Wimpy one, the f****** black n***** c***, f****** black b******. I went ‘What, the P***?”.

Gurdeep Banghal, 22 was working in a Wimpey bar in Eltham a month before Stephen Lawrence’s murder when he was stabbed by a white youth who had called him a “P*** b******”. No-one has been convicted for that crime.

So. Was it racist? Was the murder of black Stephen Lawrence racist? No, said the police. At the time, Detective Sergeant John Davidson said :

“Because these lads had attacked whites before, very very similarly with a similar knife I believe this was thugs. They were described as the Krays. They were thugs who were out to kill, not particularly a black person, but anybody and I believe that to this day that that was thugs, not racism, just pure bloody minded thuggery.”

Racists?

David Norris told the court he was not longer a racist. But while at Belmash prison a black man serving a life sentence for murder responded to an alleged racial slight by dropping a television on Mr Norris’s head. This damaged Norris’s ears. In court, he wore a heating aid.

Racists?

Neil Acourt was expelled from Kidbrooke School after two confrontations with groups of black youths; banned from Montague Boys Club in 1992 after brandishing a knife at a black boy; convicted in 2001 for possession of an offensive weapon; and in 2002 sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, along with Norris, for a racist attack on a black off-duty policeman.

Racists?

The MacPherson Report stated:

We heed this warning, but upon all the facts we assert that the conclusion that racism played its part in this case is fully justified. Mere incompetence cannot of itself account for the whole catalogue of failures, mistakes, misjudgements, and lack of direction and control which bedevilled the Stephen Lawrence investigation.

What about the loveable rogues’ past?

The jury was told that when interviewed by police in 1993, Gary Dobson named the Acourts as his best friends and also mentioned Luke Knight. He also told police he associated with youths named Charlie Martin and Danny Caetano.

What the jury did not hear was how the pair were not around the night Stephen Lawrence was killed because they were awaiting trial for a knife attack on a rival gang member who according to the prosecution they had quite literally tried to skin alive. A surgeon said he had never seen such wounds and the pair were convicted.

Then, 13 years after the murder, police found a fibre at the Acourts’ house. Was it from Stephen Lawrence’s shirt? Even if it was, the fibre proved nothing.

Neil Acourt and Jamie Acourt have always denied any involvement in Stephen Lawrence’s murder. Their names were being bandied about. But there is no proof of any guilt. They are innocent. But they do have form.

The police knew of them and their associates. The jury at the Stephen Lawrence trial did not know about the gang’s past:

* In 1991 Lee Pearson was stabbed outside a kebab shop in

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Posted: 3rd, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (12) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink