In the Media

Stephen Lawrence killers to launch appeal

PUBLISHED January 30, 2012

Gary Dobson starts appeal procedure against murder conviction, David Norris also expected to appeal but has yet to lodge papers

One of two men jailed for the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence has started the process of appealing against his conviction earlier this month.

The move by Gary Dobson, 36, who was sentenced to at least 15 years and two months at the Old Bailey, was confirmed by the Court of Appeal.

David Norris, 35, who was given a minimum of 14 years and three months for the murder is also expected to seek to appeal although papers have not yet been lodged.

The two were part of a group of five white men who were suspected of the killing in 1993, but had escaped justice through police failings and because some witnesses were too scared to come forward.

Lawrence, 18, was murdered on 22 April 1993, as he and a friend waited for a bus in Eltham, south-east London.

The trial judge, Mr Justice Treacy, said that the killing was a "terrible and evil crime" and urged police not to "close the file" on catching the rest of the killers who he said had committed the act "for no other reason than racial hatred".

"A totally innocent 18-year-old youth on the threshold of a promising life was brutally cut down in the street in front of eyewitnesses by a racist, thuggish gang," he told Norris and Dobson.

"You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes."

Dobson had previously been acquitted of the murder in 1996, after Lawrence's family brought a private prosecution. In May this year, the court of appeal quashed his acquittal after deciding that scientific evidence was sufficiently new and compelling.

The convicted men, who both continue to protest their innocence, claimed that the scientific evidence against them came from contamination caused by failings in the way the exhibits had been stored over the last 18 years but failed to produce a single expert to testify in support of their claims. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds