Lawrence killers to appeal against their convictions

David Norris and Gary Dobson to argue that use of surveillance video during trial was unfair

The two men jailed for the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence are to appeal their convictions.

David Norris, 35, and Gary Dobson, 36, received life sentences this month for their part in an attack on 18-year-old Mr Lawrence at a bus stop in Eltham in 1993.

The Court of Appeal yesterday confirmed that Dobson has lodged an appeal against his conviction. It is understood that Norris will also seek to appeal, but papers have not yet been lodged with the court.

The lawyer acting on behalf of Norris confirmed that he will appeal on the basis that the use in evidence of a surveillance video was unfair, it was reported yesterday. He is expected to claim that the trial was supposed to be based on new forensic evidence, but was instead focused on the video.

The video in question showed the convicted pair using violent racist language, including a segment in which Norris said he would torture a black person. It also showed Dobson wielding a knife. During the trial at the Old Bailey, Dobson told the court he was "disgusted and embarrassed" at his behaviour in the video. Norris too said he was "ashamed" of the language he used.

Dobson was sentenced to at least 15 years and two months, while Norris was given a minimum of 14 years and three months for the murder, which the judge described as a "terrible and evil crime".

Mr Justice Treacy said the murder was committed "for no other reason than racial hatred".

He urged police not to "close the file" on catching the rest of the killers after the court heard that a gang of five or six white youths set upon Stephen Lawrence as he waited for a bus.

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