Socialist Worker

Stephen Lawrence case: new proof of police corruption

Issue No. 2293

New documents have emerged that confirm the extent of police corruption in the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Police intelligence reports show extensive allegations of corruption against Detective Sergeant John Davidson, a lead detective investigating the racist murder in south east London.

Details have been held back from Stephen’s family and their legal team for years. The files are being made public following the convictions of murderers Gary Dobson and David Norris in January. The police reaction to Stephen’s killing was shocking.

They failed to make any arrests, despite the fact that detectives received 39 tip-offs in the days following the murder.

The vast majority named some or all of Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and David Norris as the gang members involved.

Davidson, who interviewed key suspects and witnesses within days of the stabbing, was a “major player” in a ring of bent cops in the area.

Davidson had corrupt relations with informants and he himself dealt drugs. He denies the claims, never faced criminal charges and was allowed to retire on health grounds.

Drug smuggler Clifford Norris was paying Davidson. Clifford is the father of one of the convicted murderers, David Norris.

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 had many links to corrupt police officers.

One of Noye’s criminal associates was Clifford Norris. When the police eventually stirred themselves to arrest Stephen’s killers, David Norris was not at home, suggesting he had been tipped off.

David Hamilton, the Met’s head of legal affairs at the time, wrote in August 2000 that, “Disclosures relevant to Davidson’s contact with the Norris family could have an adverse effect on the Commissioner’s position.”

The IPCC cleared Davidson of corruption in the Lawrence investigation. The extent of his corruption was hidden from the Macpherson inquiry into the investigation.

Scotland Yard now acknowledges that it knew of corruption within Davidson’s unit but maintains there was no corruption in the Lawrence investigation.

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Tue 6 Mar 2012, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2293
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