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Lawrence pair plead not guilty

Two men appeared in court yesterday accused of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence 18 years ago.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 34, pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from Belmarsh prison in south east London.

Mr Lawrence, an 18-year-old A-level student, was stabbed to death in a racist attack in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993.

Both smartly dressed in black suits and ties, Dobson and Norris, both of south London, spoke only to confirm their names and their pleas. They will remain in custody until their trial.

They are to face trial on 14 November. A pre-trial hearing will take place on 29 September.

Dobson stood trial over the murder following a private prosecution in 1996 and was cleared. In May, the Court of Appeal overturned the acquittal because it said substantial new evidence had emerged. Norris had not been on trial in 1996.