Thursday, January 5, 2012

No place to hide: two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers get found guilty at Old Bailey and jailed, 2 down and 3 to go, 19 years to get justice!

Dear All

Every so often, justice gets done and is seen to be done, unfortunately in the case of Stephen Lawrence, it has taken 19 years.

His killers have cheated justice for nearly 19 years because of incompetence of the Met Police who didn’t live up to the standard which we expect our police service to.

The Lawrence family after the conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris said this was a time to celebrate as the three other people also involved in the murder are still out there.

They are absolutely right, both Dobson and Norris know who else was with them and they should confess and give up the names, forensics in this case has run its course and for any future investigation to go forward, I would suggest that witness testimony is needed.

Both Dobson and Norris got circa 15 years each, the judge said he wished it could have been longer, 30 years and no parole consideration unless 25 years were served would have been better.

The rest of the Stephen Lawrence killer gang were warned yesterday that they will not get away with murder but unless confessions are forthcoming then possibly they will.

In cases like this were an impasse has been reached, Dobson and Norris should be approached and re-interviewed by Police and offered a deal.

Unpleasant as it sounds, unless a witness suddenly appears which is incredibly doubtful, the CPS should be pragmatic.

Mr Justice Treacy dramatically ordered Scotland Yard to hunt down the ‘three or four’ killers still at large not an easy task, thinking someone didn’t isn’t the same as proving someone did it.

Dobson and Norris weren’t born evil but grew into it over time, there is no excuse for killing an innocent person, this wasn’t self defence or in defence of another, it was evil, plain and simple.

Stephen’s parents, Neville and Doreen have fought hard for justice, but their fight isn’t just about their son, it has a wider point about society, and what kind of society we aspire to become.

As a victim of knife crime, I was nearly stabbed to death once myself; the knife bounced off a rib hence I am here today, when stabbed it happens so quick that you think you have just been punched. The mental effects last longer than the physical wounds; believe me I speak with authority on that. Stephen Lawrence was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Three other people are named as people that should be of interest to the Police, Jamie Acourt, his brother Neil and Luke Knight. At present, they remain free and they should be considered innocent until proven guilty, as much as many think they were involved, in the eyes of the law, they are just suspects. Only Dobson and Norris know exactly who else was with them, they are the key now to the conclusion of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.
Although the Acourt gang were alleged to be responsible for numerous attacks in South London, they have never been punished, perhaps 19 years; things will change for the rest of the gang.

Their names were handed to police within days of Stephen’s murder and all five were named by the Daily Mail as killers in 1997.

The paper even challenged them to sue if the newspaper was wrong. They never did but that doesn’t constitute evidence. Trial by media should never form any part of a trial no matter what the motivation of the people running a paper.

Mr Lawrence said he hoped Dobson and Norris would ‘give up the rest of the people.’

The only way I can see this happening is if Dobson and Norris cut a deal, through-out their trial they expressed their innocence the jury thought otherwise.

Stephen’s mother Doreen told the press:

“There is no shred of doubt in my mind that all five are guilty. After Stephen’s death we had people we don’t know leaving messages and giving us their names. We would have had no idea about these young men, who they were and where they lived, but we were getting these messages about their behaviour; the way they cleaned knives in front of their windows, attacks on other people. So with that combination of things, and then seeing the police surveillance video where it’s clear the hatred they have for individual races, you think, no, it has to be them.”

So, the next phase of the marathon Lawrence investigation is expected to focus on the Acourt brothers and Knight.

They have fled and gone into hiding.

They can run but they can’t hide, if Dobson and Norris turn Queen’s evidence then the rest of the gang can be put behind bars.

19 years to achieve justice, how far we have sunk as a society.

The Acourt brothers and Knight best not make plans for the future, it appears others such as the Met Police and Crown Office are taking care of that for them.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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