Inquest on 'racial killing' adjourned

THE INQUEST into the death of Stephen Lawrence, a schoolboy stabbed in an apparent racial attack, was unexpectedly adjourned yesterday after it was revealed that three possible murder suspects had recently been identified.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing the family of the 18-year-old, said 'dramatic' new evidence had been unearthed. He told Sir Montagu Levine, the Southwark coroner, that if the police did not pursue the latest leads, Stephen's parents intended to bring their own private prosecution. Going ahead with the inquest now might 'jeopardise' a possible future court hearing, he said.

On 22 April this year, the A-level student was waiting with a friend at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, on his way back home to nearby Plumstead, when he was stabbed twice by a gang of between four and six white youths after they had apparently made racist remarks. He collapsed and was dead on arrival at hospital.

The coroner said: 'There is a suggestion that some new evidence has come to light. In the interests of fairness and justice and being mindful of the possible prejudice to a future hearing in another court, I am going to adjourn.'

Sir Montagu said somebody knew what happened on the night Stephen was fatally stabbed. 'I would ask them to search their hearts and their consciences to come forward and give any information to the police.'

The new inquest will be heard on a date to be fixed.

Mr Mansfield told the court that the new information concerned somebody known to one of the alleged assailants, witnesses to the murder and the disappearance of another person. In addition, there was information about a statement made by one of the suspects. 'Three more individuals had been identified over and above the original persons who were arrested,' he said.

Mr Mansfield was referring to two teenagers, one 16, the other 17, who were charged with Stephen's murder earlier this year, but later released after the Crown Prosecution Service dropped charges because of a lack of evidence.

Mr Mansfield said: 'The information we have is very specific and in one case dramatic.' It had come from a 'reputable source' - Greenwich Borough Council.

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?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?