Socialist Worker

A timeline of the Stephen Lawrence case

Nearly two decades of racism, corruption and campaigning

Issue No. 2285

22 April 1993

A gang of racists stabs Stephen Lawrence while he is waiting for a bus in Eltham, south east London. He later dies in hospital.

May-June 1993

Five men are arrested in connection with the murder, including Neil Acourt, Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and David Norris.

29 July 1993

Acourt and Knight are charged, but the case is dropped.

December 1994

Racist rants by members of the gang are recorded in Gary Dobson’s flat.

April 1996

A private prosecution of Neil Acourt, Knight and Dobson collapses.

13 February 1997

The jury at Stephen Lawrence’s long-delayed inquest finds he was “unlawfully killed by five white youths”.

May 1997

Labour government elected.

July 1997

Home secretary Jack Straw announces a judicial inquiry into the case.

March 1998

Macpherson inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence begins

1 October 1998

Met Police commissioner Sir Paul Condon apologises but denies the force is institutionally racist.

February 1999

The Macpherson Report is published. It accuses the police of “institutional racism”.

September 2001

Dobson’s parents are arrested over allegations that they lied to the police, but they are not charged.

September 2002

David Norris and Neil Acourt are jailed for a racist attack on an off-duty black police officer.

May 2004

The Crown Prosecution Service rules out a second attempt at a trial, saying there is “insufficient evidence”

July 2006

Police launch the Stephen Lawrence murder review, with 32 officers re-examining evidence. Forensic evidence is reviewed.

April 2008

Tests find Stephen Lawrence’s blood on clothes belonging to Gary Dobson.

September 2010

Gary Dobson and David Norris are arrested and charged with murder.

November 2011

Their trial begins at the Old Bailey.

3 January 2012

Both men are convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence.


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