Lawrence suspect was 'in kitchen at time of murder'

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The Independent Online

The mother of a man accused of murdering Stephen Lawrence has claimed her son was in their kitchen making toast when a white racist gang attacked the black teenager.

Pauline Dobson told the Old Bailey yesterday that she saw her son Gary half-naked at home at 10.30pm on 22 April 1993, around the time a gang hunted down and fatally stabbed Mr Lawrence a few minutes' walk away. Mr Lawrence was killed because he had encroached on "the manor" of the white gang based in Eltham, south-east London, the court heard yesterday.

Ms Dobson said her son, then aged 17, had spent most of the evening in his room playing computer games and listening to music while she socialised with friends downstairs.

The court was told that Ms Dobson signed a statement in 1996 when she said she saw her son in the kitchen at 10.40-10.45pm, just after the attack. Mark Ellison QC, for the prosecution, said: "Maybe by the time that you saw him, he had just come in and stripped down to his shorts?"

"No he did not. Gary was in all evening," Ms Dobson said. She said he never wore two items of clothing – a cardigan and a jacket – on which the prosecution says fibres and blood were found that connected him to the killing.

Mr Dobson, 36, and his co-defendant David Norris, 35, deny murder. Mr Dobson yesterday denied he held the same racist views in April 1993 that he expressed on secret police recordings at his flat in Eltham, when he is heard recounting how he threatened to slash a black colleague.

Mr Dobson said his attitude changed after his arrest in 1993. "I was a bit angry with the world, not just the police and black people," he said. "I had been spat at. I did become a bitter, angry young man. It's not in my character."

Mr Ellison said Mr Dobson was part of a gang that saw: "two black boys on your manor, on the pavement leading to the estate where you lived. And... that was a real provocation seeing two niggers, as you would put it, on your manor?"

Mr Ellison added: "And you attacked them, didn't you?"

Mr Dobson said: "Absolutely not." The case continues.