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
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test