Victim's mother, Doreen Lawrence, says corruption allegations relating to the case must be examined
For a decade, allegations and claims of corruption have been mounting in the Stephen Lawrence case. Despite the conviction of two people for the murder, Doreen Lawrence believes this avenue of investigation must be pursued too. Here are details of the allegations against some of those involved in the case, all of whom deny any wrongdoing.
The gangster father of David Norris, a prime suspect for the Lawrence murder who was finally convicted in January this year. It is alleged that Clifford Norris used his influence to protect his son.
Clifford Robert Norris was suspected by law enforcement of "involvement in organised crime, including armed robbery, importation and supply of drugs and murder", according to police documents.
Just after the Lawrence murder, Clifford came back to Eltham, south London, from a self-imposed exile overseas to keep out of the reach of Customs.
David Norris was also being investigated for an attack on Stacey Benefield. He stabbed the youth in his chest in the street.
Clifford is said to have returned to the Eltham area no later than 1 June, 1993, to bribe, cajole and threaten Benefield, with help from a henchman.
The approach to Benefield was made three days after he had picked David Norris out of an identity parade. Clifford and a henchman even knew what room the identity parade had taken place in.
Clifford bragged to Benefield that he was "on the run from the police", but he was "not to worry as he was putting his face up front and nothing was happening", according to documents seen by the Guardian. One baffling feature of the 1993 investigation was the fact the five prime suspects were not arrested for a fortnight, despite numerous people naming them to police. The Met originally claimed its inquiry was hampered by a wall of silence, a claim debunked by the Macpherson inquiry.
Clifford Norris, says a senior source, knew that to protect his son, he would also have to look after the other suspects.
On 1 December 1993, a Special Branch officer based at Gatwick airport informed the Lawrence investigation that three suspects for the murder ? Gary Dobson, Jamie Acourt and David Norris ? would be arriving after a holiday in Lanzarotte. They suspected that Clifford would be with them, travelling under a false name as he was wanted by Customs.
Fast forward to 1997, and Clifford Norris was in jail. Supposedly, the threat he posed to the witnesses had been neutralised. One potential witness had been moved out of the Eltham area by police as part of the witness protection scheme and had been moving from address to address, his true identity kept secret. One night, however, the witness was returning home when the long reach of Clifford Norris got to him.
The witness, still terrified for his life, said: "I was going in my block of flats, my door was brightly lit and everything else was dark. Someone pulled up in a car at the end of the alleyway 30 yards away and shouted, 'We know who you are and we're going to get you.'" The witness claims that Clifford Norris was behind the threat: "I was adamant who it was, no one else would do that, I'd never upset anyone else enough to do that."
In 2006, Norris told the Observer: "I never became involved with underhand dealings or giving money to coppers."
Commander Ray Adams
By 1993, Ray Adams was a police commander in the south London area where Stephen Lawrence was murdered.
His only documented involvement ? and he insists his only involvement ? in the case was to sign a letter to the Lawrence family, one week after the murder.
In his 1999 report, Sir William Macpherson outlines the Lawrences' claims that Adams may have had links to Clifford Norris. Adams gave evidence to the inquiry for two days. The former head of criminal intelligence for the Met said he had no contact with Clifford Norris and did not know him.
Sir William concluded that while there were "strange features" to Adams's account, there was no evidence to support the allegations against him. Macpherson wrote: "Whatever maybe the suspicions of Mr and Mrs Lawrence's legal team, there was never any substantiation of the allegations that were made ... We have seen nothing to suggest Mr Adams was involved in collusion or corruptly involved in efforts to hold back this prosecution."
Macpherson's adviser, Richard Stone, says the inquiry was not told of the two reports containing information about Adams, from Operation Russell and Operation Othona. Among police officers one aspect of Adams life that raised questions was the fact he lived in an expensive house called Wildacre in Shirley, Surrey, which backed on to a golf course. That seemed unaffordable on a Met commander's salary, which in the late 1980s would have been approximately ?30,000. One claim was that his wife was wealthy and thus the couple could afford the house.
Adams told the Guardian that the allegation that he had taken money from a criminal was wrong. He said the criminal had bribed a different officer, and Adams had told investigators the identities of the corrupt police officers. He also said he did not know who former detective sergeant John Davidson was. Adams's close associate, DC Alan "Taffy'' Holmes shot himself dead on 27 July , 1987, on the eve of Adams being interviewed by corruption investigators. Holmes had been interviewed twice, and was expected to face further questioning.
John Davidson and Neil Putnam
Detective Sergeant Davidson's conduct during the failed Lawrence murder investigation was heavily criticised by the Macpherson inquiry. A veteran sergeant, he controlled much of the flow of information as head of the "outside team". The Macpherson report said there was no reason to think he was corrupt, but found he had alienated potential witnesses by his manner and mishandled a potentially vital informant. In 1998, Davidson was arrested at his London home which was raided over corruption allegations, but he was released without charge.
The Guardian first reported in 2002, and then the BBC in 2006, allegations from a former detective that Davidson admitted a connection to Clifford Norris. Davidson denies the claims that he was in the pay of Clifford Norris, made by Neil Putnam.
Putnam, a self-confessed corrupt detective turned supergrass, said the two were on duty together when Davidson told him: "'Old man Norris' ? I assumed old man Norris was Clifford ? 'had been putting some work our way.'"
Davidson left the Met in 1998 for medical reasons. He now runs a bar in Spain called The Smugglers. He denies any wrongdoing. In 2006, a senior Met officer, John Yates, told the BBC: "From all the evidence I've seen, and the intelligence I've seen, I have no doubt he was corrupt." But no charges were brought against Davidson.
A 2007 report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission report recorded Putnam's allegations against Davidson, also seen in police witness statements seen by The Guardian:
"There were three specific allegations against Davidson:the disposal of two stolen watches given to him by Putnam: the handling of stolen electrical equipment following the theft and recovery of a lorry owned by a mail order company: and the theft of cocaine from a drug dealer." That IPCC document also said: "Davidson was due to appear before a disciplinary tribunal in April 1998; however he left the Police Service on retirement in March 1998. The Lawrence family were not told of these allegations during the Macpherson inquiry.
The IPCC dismissed a claim from Putnam that he told the Met in 1998 that Davidson had admitted knowing Norris, and the force had covered it up. It found no evidence of a link between Davidson and Norris, nor of any corruption in the first Lawrence murder investigation.
DC David Coles
The Macpherson inquiry heard that a Met detective, Detective Constable David Coles, was seen by customs agents with Clifford Norris. Surveillance officers recorded the detective meeting the criminal at least three times at the Tiger's Head pub in Chislehurst, Kent. Packages were recorded being exchanged. Coles has claimed that he was grooming Norris as an informant, although at the time Norris was on the run.