Stephen Lawrence trial: Survivor happy with guilty verdict

 

The convictions of two of Stephen Lawrence's killers should inspire the police to bring other suspects to justice, his best friend who survived the attack said today.

Duwayne Brooks, who was with Mr Lawrence on the night he was stabbed and killed in April 1993, said today's guilty verdicts were just "part of closure".

He told ITV London Tonight: "It can't be full closure because all the suspects are not found guilty. But I'm happy we have a guilty verdict.

"But I hope, more than ever, this inspires the investigating team to work harder to bring the rest of the suspects before a jury."

Top-ranking officers at Scotland Yard have said the force will continue working to bring the rest of Mr Lawrence's killers to justice.

Witnesses to the fatal attack in Eltham, south east London, said there were more than two assailants - five or six people engulfed the 18-year-old in a flurry of racist violence.

Today, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of murder at the Old Bailey, nearly 19 years after Mr Lawrence's death.

Mr Brooks, who managed to escape, told the programme: "I wish we both had run for our lives to be honest, I wish we both had ran, but only I had ran and Stephen stuck in his position and was attacked by the group of white boys. Stabbed and died.

"All I could think about was why? Why Steve? Never done anything to anybody, no fights, no argument, yet he's been murdered because he's black."

He added: "We were interrupted by a group of white boys on the opposite side of the road who shouted out 'What? What? N*****'.

"My response was obviously shock, immediate fear.

"We were in a part of London back then which was dangerous for black people, let alone young black boys by themselves and there was a gang of six white boys on the other side of the road.

"One began to withdraw a weapon from their trousers and from then it was immediate fear and run."

Mr Brooks also criticised the way he was treated by police immediately after the attack.

"The treatment was appalling, for me it was the constant questions around my integrity and Steve's integrity," he said.

"There was disbelief that we were innocent.

"I was even questioned about the words 'What? What? N*****'. Senior officers at the station on that night did not believe that was said and instead were suggesting it could have been a nickname for Steve that I did not know about.

"I felt like I was in a battle with the police on that night to convince them that we were innocent, we had not done anything wrong."

:: The interview was being broadcast on ITV London Tonight at 6pm and ITV News at 6.30pm tonight.

PA

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