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Lawrence gang fails to agree on story

POLICE WERE studying television interviews with the five suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case last night after they contradicted each other about events surrounding the racist murder in 1993 and made new disclosures about their movements.

The five - Neil Acourt, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight, all 23, and Jamie Acourt and David Norris, all 22 - broke their six-year silence about Stephen's murder in interviews broadcast last night on the launch edition of ITV's new current affairs flagship, Tonight.

Michael Mansfield QC, barrister for the Lawrences, said the interviews threw up "lines of inquiry which we would like pursued immediately".

The Acourt brothers toldMartin Bashir, the interviewer, that they were at home together on the night of the murder in Eltham, south-east London. But while Jamie Acourt said he did not find out about it until the next day, his brother Neil said he heard about it that night.

Norris, who has never given an alibi, disclosed that he was "probably" in Eltham on the night, at the house of his then girlfriend. He was the only one who did not live in Eltham, so the admission put him close to the murder scene for the first time.

Commenting on a surveillance video in which the suspects voiced extreme racist views, Mr Bashir, a British Asian, asked Norris: "Would you call me a Paki?" He replied: "Some people would call you a Paki, Martin."

Dobson described the five as "rascals, lovable rogues".