Police appeal for calm after racist murder: Third teenager killed in London borough

POLICE appealed for calm in the London borough of Greenwich last night after the murder of a black schoolboy.

Stephen Lawrence was the third teenager from an ethnic minority to be stabbed to death in the borough in just over two years. All the killings involved groups of white youths.

Stephen, 18, and a schoolfriend were attacked by a group of four to six youths as they waited for a bus late at night in Eltham, south-east London. Police said racial abuse had been shouted just before the stabbing.

Stephen lived in Woolwich Common and was studying for A-levels at Blackheath Bluecoat school. He wanted to be an architect. His family and friends said yesterday that he always avoided trouble. 'He wasn't into fighting one bit; he would avoid it,' his father Neville said.

There had been three near-fatal racial stabbings of black people in the borough this year before Stephen's murder late on Thursday. The Metropolitan Police staff a permanent racial attack incident room at Plumstead.

Yesterday as Stephen's friends spoke of seeking out the killers for revenge, Chief Superintendent John Philpott of the Metropolitan Police in Plumstead said: 'We would ask young people to be sensible . . . we have a racist problem in this area but we aim to tackle it.' Police patrols were being stepped up, he added.

Rolan Adams was killed in nearby Thamesmead in February 1991 and buried on his 16th birthday. Stephen took part in campaigns to raise money for his family and to protest against racial attacks. In July last year, Rohit Duggal, a 16-year-old Asian, was stabbed to death in Well Hall Road - the same Eltham street where Stephen was knifed. Two youths are serving terms of life imprisonment.

The Greenwich Action Committee Against Racist Attacks and the Commission for Racial Equality yesterday called for a meeting with the Home Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Paul Condon.

Dev Barrah, the committee's co-ordinator, said bad housing and high unemployment had made the area a breeding ground for racism. The British National Party has set up its headquarters in nearby Welling and campaigns and recruits in the area. He called for the party to be expelled.

Stephen, who was on his way home from visiting his uncle, tried to make an escape but collapsed, bleeding heavily, after running a short distance. Surgeons failed to resuscitate him at the nearby Brook Hospital - one of two stab wounds had severed an artery. 'It appears that it is a racial murder by the remarks that were made,' said Detective Chief Inspector Bill Ilsley, who heads the murder inquiry. He appealed for a man and a woman who got off a No 286 bus just before the attack to contact the police.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
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

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all