Lawrence suspects fined for raid on depot

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TWO OF the main suspects in the inquiry into the murder of the black student Stephen Lawrence were fined yesterday for theft.

David Norris, 22, of Chislehurst, Kent, and Jamie Acourt, 22, of Greenwich, south-east London, admitted stealing 32 cases of empty soda siphons worth pounds 224 from a drinks warehouse in Swanley, Kent, in April. Danny Caetano, 23, of Eltham, south-east London, also admitted the theft at Sevenoaks magistrates' court, Kent.

The goods were found in the back of a Ford Transit van and the trio had a pair of bolt- cutters, the court was told. Norris and Caetano were each fined pounds 200, and Acourt was fined pounds 250. Each man was also ordered to pay pounds 40 costs. The court ordered that the bolt-cutters be destroyed. The fines are to be paid at the rate of pounds 10 a week.

Norris was reprimanded by Dawn Silburn, who chaired the magistrates, when he went into court chewing bubble gum. Ms Silburn told him to remove it, which he did, placing the gum in a plastic cup.

Barbara Noone, for the prosecution, told the court that the three men were arrested in the early hours of April 19 in the yard of a drinks warehouse in Swanley. Norris was driving the van and Acourt and Caetano were passengers.

A warehouse manager had alerted police, who found the trio at the warehouse with the bolt-cutters and the goods in the back of their van. They told oficers they were looking for scrap metal.