David Norris and Gary Dobson (left and right) have been ordered to serve minimum sentences of 15 and 14 years respectively for the ‘terrible and evil’ murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence.
They were convicted of the racist murder of the 18-year old yesterday, see HERE.
You can read Felicitiy Gerry HERE.
‘It is always better to reach a proper verdict on the evidence once and, where possible, close to the time of the offence but retrial on acquittal is a legal (not a political) tool available where new evidence becomes available and to correct mistakes in very serious cases. Despite the reservations this new law of double jeopardy has created, most agree that it was used to success in Stephen Lawrence’s case and one hopes that such a legacy is some small comfort for his family.’
Mr Justice Treacy, giving sentencing remarks this morning, quoted the Lord Chief Justice describing the brutal attack which took place in April 1993 as ‘a murder which scarred the conscience of the nation’.
Mr Justice Treacy’s said:
- ‘The murder of Stephen Lawrence… was a terrible and evil crime. Recently the Lord Chief Justice described it as a “murder which scarred the conscience of the nation”.’
- ‘A totally innocent 18-year-old youth on the threshold of a promising life was recently cut down in the street in front of eyewitnesses by a racist thuggish gang. You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes…’
- This crime was committed for no other reason than racial hatred. You did not know Stephen Lawrence or Duwayne Brooks. Neither of them had done anything to harm, threaten or offend you in anyway apart from being black and making their way peaceably to the bus stop on their way home.’
- ‘Whilst the attack on Stephen Lawrence himself clearly could not have been premeditated since it was a chance encounter, I cannot accept that a crime of this type simply arose on the spur of the moment. The way in which the attack took place strongly suggests to me that your group, if not actively seeking out a victim, was prepared, if opportunity arose to attack in the way you did.’
- ‘Neither of you have shown the slightest regret and remorse.’
You can read the remarks in full HERE.
Jon is editor of www.thejusticegap.com. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009 – with Steve Hynes) and People Power: how to run a campaign (Daily Telegraph and LawPack, 2008). Jon is a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln and a patron of Hackney Community Law Centre. He won the Bar Council's legal reporting award in 2015 and previously in 2005.