Stephen Lawrence murder case: Public inquiry to launch after possible police corruption

The victim Stephen Lawrence

The victim Stephen Lawrence

Home Secretary Theresa May has announced a judge-led public inquiry into undercover policing after “profoundly shocking” evidence revealed that Scotland Yard spied on the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

18-year-old Stephen was stabbed to death by a gang of six white youths in an unprovoked racist attack as he waited at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22, 1993.

It took more than 18 years to bring two of his killers – Gary Dobson and David Norris – to justice.

The review of the police investigation is demanded from the Home Office by the victim’s mother, Doreen Lawrence, who believes that some police failings in handling the case were due to corruption.

The recently published review findings of the case by Mark Ellison QC led to the revelation of reasonable grounds to suspect that at least one detective in the inquiry team on the original Lawrence murder case – detective sergeant John Davidson – acted corruptly.

Mr Ellison is the same lawyer who secured convictions against two suspected men for the murder in 2012.

The review report has also established that an undercover police officer worked as a “spy” in the “Lawrence family camp” during a judicial inquiry into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of Stephen’s murder.

The victim’s father Neville Lawrence has told the findings were “21 years overdue”, while Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband are also deeply shocked at Mr Ellison’s conclusions.

Mrs May has mentioned to add an essential new offence of “police corruption” as it would be invalid to rely on the out-dated offence of misconduct in public office to deal with serious police corruption.

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