Timeline of the Stephen Lawrence case

 

:: April 22, 1993: Stephen Lawrence is stabbed to death in an unprovoked racist attack by a gang of white youths as he waits at a bus stop in Eltham, south east London, with his best friend Duwayne Brooks.

:: May 1993: The Lawrence family complains police are not doing enough to catch the murderers.

:: May-June 1993: Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and David Norris are arrested in connection with his murder.

:: July 1993: Committal proceedings are scheduled for Neil Acourt and Mr Knight but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) formally discontinues the prosecution following a meeting with the senior investigating officer.

:: December 1993: Southwark coroner Sir Montague Levine halts an inquest into Mr Lawrence's death after the family's barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, says there is "dramatic" new evidence in the case.

:: April 1994: The CPS says the new evidence is insufficient to support murder charges.

:: September 1994: The Lawrence family begins a private prosecution against Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Dobson.

:: December 1994: Secret video evidence is filmed showing Dobson and Norris making obscene racist remarks.

:: April 1996: The private prosecution against Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Dobson begins at the Old Bailey but collapses after identification evidence is ruled inadmissible. The three are acquitted.

:: February 1997: An inquest jury finds that Mr Lawrence was "unlawfully killed by five white youths".

:: December 1997: A Police Complaints Authority report on the original police investigation of Mr Lawrence's murder identifies "significant weaknesses, omissions and lost opportunities".

:: February 1999: The Macpherson report finds the police guilty of mistakes and "institutional racism" and makes a series of recommendations on changes to policing and wider public policy.

It also suggested a rethink of the principle of "double jeopardy", to allow the retrial of acquitted defendants in exceptional circumstances if new evidence emerged of their guilt.

:: April 1999: The five men arrested in 1993 deny involvement in the murder in a television interview.

:: September 2002: Norris and Neil Acourt are jailed for 18 months for a racist attack on off-duty black policeman Gareth Reid.

Norris had thrown a drink at the officer from a car and shouted "n****r" while Acourt drove the vehicle at him during the attack in May the previous year, in Eltham, south east London, less than a mile from where Mr Lawrence was murdered.

:: May 2004: The CPS announces there is "insufficient evidence" to prosecute anyone for the murder.

:: April 2005: The double jeopardy legal principle, preventing suspects being tried twice for the same crime, is scrapped for certain offences when there is new evidence.

:: July 2006: A BBC documentary alleges police corruption in the Lawrence case.

:: October 2007: The Independent Police Complaints Commission finds no evidence of corruption and no evidence of dishonest links.

:: November 2007: Police confirm they are investigating new forensic evidence in the case.

:: April 2010: Detective Paul Steed is demoted after tampering with key dates and times on an evidence log about the case. He was said to have acted out of spite after being thrown off the inquiry because he had been convicted of assault in Spain.

:: May 18, 2011: The Court of Appeal agrees that Dobson's 1996 acquittal for the murder can be quashed in the face of new forensic evidence. It can then be reported for the first time that Dobson and Norris will face trial.

:: November 14, 2011: The trial of Dobson and Norris for Mr Lawrence's murder begins at the Old Bailey.

:: January 3, 2012: Dobson and Norris are found guilty of his murder.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us