Lawrance Report: The Close Friend

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The Independent Online
DUWAYNE BROOKS was one of Stephen's closest friends and was with him on the fateful night.

While Stephen was stabbed at the bus stop, Duwayne managed to flee. He was the crucial witness in the murder inquiry. He was deeply traumatised. The questions raised over the admissibility of his identification evidence led to the collapse of the private prosecution of Stephen's alleged killers.

Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he was too unwell to give evidence at the public inquiry. Mr Brooks has said that he blames himself for Stephen's death. He claims he should have forced his friend to choose a different route home.

Mr Brooks denounced a TV drama-documentary for portraying him and Stephen as "ruffians" using "the sort of street-talk we didn't use". Yesterday he repeated calls for Sir Paul Condon to resign. He said: "When Mr Condon took up the job in 1991 he said he would eradicate racism. Today is 1999 and racism is still here and has played a big part in this case and in many others."

Ian Burrell