Timeline: the first Lawrence murder investigation

 

22 April 1993: Stephen Lawrence is murdered in Eltham, south-east London.

 

23 April: The first of many anonymous tip-offs names five suspects, including Gary Dobson and David Norris.

24 April: DS John Davidson joins the murder investigation. He interviews an informant, known as James Grant, who identified Neil and Jamie Acourt as gang leaders.

25 April: DS Davidson interviews Stacey Benefield, who was stabbed a month before Stephen died and makes a statement saying the attack was carried out by David Norris in the company of Neil Acourt. DS Davidson later says Mr Benefield's allegations would have justified the arrests of Norris and Acourt, and did not know why no such arrests were made.

26 April: Neil Acourt is seen leaving his home carrying a binliner but police photographers are unable to call for back-up as they have no means of communication.

7 May: Police swoop on the Acourts and Gary Dobson. Det Chief Supt Brian Weeden later admitted he did not know the law would have allowed him to make arrests much earlier on the basis of "reasonable suspicion". DS Davidson conducts the interview of Dobson. He is not given a crucial piece of evidence – photographs showing Dobson and Norris together – which would have allowed him to counter Dobson's denials he knew Norris.

Late 1993: DS Davidson joins the South East Regional Crime Squad. While on the anti-drugs unit he is accused by DC Neil Putnam of engaging in at least three corrupt acts as well as revealing in a conversation that he was in a corrupt relationship with gangster Clifford Norris.

16 February 1996: DS Davidson reports sick following allegations that he and colleagues "moonlighted" for an Australian businessman.

March 1998: DS Davidson retires from the Met a month before he is due to appear before a disciplinary tribunal.

16 March: Sir William Macpherson's public inquiry starts to hear evidence.

24 and 27 April: DS Davidson gives evidence to the inquiry and is later criticised for his refusal to see the murder as purely racist. However, the inquiry finds there is no evidence that he deliberately tried to thwart the investigation.

12 June: Sir John Stevens, then Commissioner of the Met, responds to a letter from Sir William seeking confirmation that there are no corruption inquiries related to Lawrence case officers or the suspects by saying there are no such investigations.

28 July: DC Putnam gives testimony to his anti-corruption unit debriefers about his claimed bent dealings with DS Davidson. He alleges DS Davidson also told him about corruption in the original Lawrence investigation – claims which were denied by the Yard.

11 September: The Yard tells the Macpherson inquiry there are new corruption allegations against DS Davidson – but states they do not relate to the Lawrence murder investigation.

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

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
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