Norris says racist rant was 'simply naive'

35-year-old now claims that clothes taken by police as evidence from his home were his brother's

One of the men accused of killing teenager Stephen Lawrence insisted yesterday he had simply been "naive" when he used obscenely violent, racist language, graphically describing how he would like to kill black people.

David Norris, one of the original five suspects in the 18-year-old case, was recorded by police surveillance cameras in 1994, the year after the murder, using terms such as "nigger" and "coon" and referring to killing black people or skinning them alive.

Despite being 18 at the time, Mr Norris claimed it was simply a product of his immaturity and part of growing up in his part of south London.

The 35-year-old, who had a sickly pallor and receding hair line, looked frail as he entered the witness box at the Old Bailey yesterday to protest: "I never murdered nobody. I am an innocent man. I was not in Eltham."

After almost two decades of suspicion and accusations, he claimed for the first time that the clothes police took as evidence from his home were his younger brother's.

The court also heard from his mother Theresa, who was accused of giving her son a false alibi after she claimed that he was at home on 22 April 1993, the night that Mr Lawrence was set upon and fatally stabbed by a group of racist thugs.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison QC told Mrs Norris that she had invented the story: "The first that we've heard of any suggestion that you can alibi your son for this murder is today. I suggest to you that as a result of that you have made it up and it's a recent thing that you have made it up."

Mrs Norris said: "I haven't made nothing up," to which Mr Ellison replied: "There's not been a breath uttered until today that you were in a position to give your son an alibi."

Mr Norris, 35, and Gary Dobson, 36, both deny murder in a case which revolves around blood spots and flecks, as well as fibres and hairs found on their clothing when scientists re-examined the garments during a cold case review in 2006. While the defence dismiss the evidence as the product of cross-contamination by police, the prosecution insists that it proves the pair were among the violent gang that night. In particular, minute fibres from Mr Lawrence's clothes and hair were found on a pair of jeans and a light blue sweatshirt owned by Mr Norris.

In a thick south London accent, his voice trailing off at times, Mr Norris insisted yesterday he had only just moved into the bedroom at his mother's home that was searched by police in 1993, as it had recently been vacated by his younger brothers Clifford and Ben.

The jury were shown pictures of a 14-year-old Clifford wearing clothing similar to the jeans and sweatshirt while out fishing with a knife also seized by the police.

Suggested Topics
Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice