Police racism and corruption had helped to shield the killers of Stephen Lawrence from conviction.
The first murder inquiry’s Detective Sergeant John Davidson was accused by another police officer of being paid by drug smuggler Clifford Norris.
Clifford is the father of one convicted murderers, David Norris. Davidson denied these allegations—and was cleared by the IPCC.
The trail of corruption goes back to criminals from south east London connected to the 1983 Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery.
Those involved included Kenneth Noye, who was alleged to have corrupt links to police officers.
One of Noye’s criminal associates was Clifford Norris.
When the police did actually stir themselves to try to arrest Stephen’s killers, David Norris was not at home, suggesting he had been tipped off.
During the Macpherson inquiry into Stephen’s murder the Lawrence family’s solicitors battled to make the links between corruption and racism. One detective was prevented from giving evidence at the Lawrence inquiry.
He said that this was done because “there are links between south east London criminal families and policemen, senior policemen, that go way back and the Yard couldn’t afford for any of this to come out during the Lawrence inquiry”.
The true scale of the police corruption has still to be revealed.