'I'm no racist', accused told Lawrence police

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The Independent Online

One of the men accused of being part of a racist gang that surrounded and stabbed Stephen Lawrence told police that "I ain't no murderer, I ain't no racist" after his arrest a fortnight after the killing, a court heard yesterday.

Gary Dobson, then aged 17, repeatedly denied that he knew his co-defendant, David Norris, even though surveillance footage had captured them together outside the home of one of his friends four days after the fatal stabbing.

In interview transcripts read to the Old Bailey yesterday, Mr Dobson complained that he had told police "a hundred times" that no one called Dave was among his close circle of friends.

Mr Dobson and Mr Norris are accused of being part of a group of white men who chased Mr Lawrence and stabbed him to death in Eltham, south-east London, on 22 April 1993. They deny murder.

Mr Dobson was arrested at his home on 7 May and was quizzed on the people he associated with. After saying he knew two brothers, Neil and Jamie Acourt, he was repeatedly pressed on why he was refusing to say who the "fourth boy" was in their circle.

He was also questioned about three lists of names in the back of his diary. He identified a number of them, including the Acourts, whose home Mr Dobson visited on the night of the murder.

When asked about the identity of "Dave" – who appeared at least four times – Mr Dobson said: "Erm, Dave Williams, I think that is," the court heard. Mr Dobson claimed it was a list of people that he knew at a club.

Finally one officer asked: "The name we are talking about, and I think we have messed around long enough, is Dave Norris." Mr Dobson replied: "I don't know who you mean. I have heard the name... but I don't know who he is."

The court heard that Mr Dobson was at college in Covent Garden, central London, on the day of the killing before returning to his home, which was only a few hundred yards from the scene of the murder.

During initial police house-to-house inquiries he claimed that he had never left home that evening, but later said he went to see the Acourts at about 11.45pm to collect a Bob Marley CD.

He said an associate called Matthew White called at the house to say that there "had been a boy murdered" on Well Hall Road. He said he was only there for a few minutes before returning home.

Asked by police why he did not go to see the murder scene on his way home, Mr Dobson said: "No, it's horrible. What do I want to go to a murder scene for? It's none of my business."

The officer said: "That's why you didn't want to go back, because you were there when it happened."

Mr Dobson replied: "No I wasn't, it's none of my business what went on there." The case continues.