Gary Dobson & David Norris

  • Gary Dobson
  • David Norris
DOB1975 & 1976
Kill Total1
Kill PlaceEltham
Kill DateApril 1993
VictimStephen Lawrence - 18
CourtThe old Bailey
JudgeMr Justice Treacy
Case No:
22nd April 1993,  18-year-old Stephen Lawrence was waiting at a bus stop in Eltham, South London when he was attacked by a gang of youths, they stabbed him to death.
Eyewitness claimed it was an unprovoked attack.

Gary Dobson, was aged-17 at the time of the attack and lived on the Brook Estate in South East London. Dobson was known to be part of a gang on the council estate that shared a love of violence and hatred of black people.
Along with the other four of those initially suspected of Lawrence's murder he had been linked to previous racist knife attacks in the area.

29 July 1993, Charges against two youths, are dropped. The Crown Prosecution Service says there is insufficient evidence to continue.

April 1994 The Lawrence family launched a private prosecution against the initial two suspects and three others. The charges against the original two suspects were dropped before the trial due to lack of evidence.

April 1996, Private prosecution collapses. Identification evidence ruled inadmissible by the judge, leading to acquittal of the other three suspects.

10th February 1997, The Coroners court concludes that Stephen Lawrence's death was an "unlawful killing".

March 1997, The Police Complaints Authority (PCA) announces it will carry out an investigation into the way the case had been handled.

December 1997, Police Complaints Authority (PCA)  publish report, it concludes there was no racist conduct, but confirms there were weaknesses and omissions in the investigation. The Report is handed to the Public Enquiry.

24th March 1998,  Public hearings in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry begin.

29th June 1998, Inquiry finishes hearing evidence . Mrs Lawrence calls for the then Chief of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Condon to resign.
A senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer accuses the Lawrence's of wrecking future prospects of their son's killers being brought to justice.

February 1999, The Report of the public enquiry is published, it has over 70 recommendations, surrounding investigative techniques and police protocol, virtually nothing about the Stephen Lawrence murder.

18th May 2011, The CPS  announced that one of the original suspects, and another man, are to stand trial for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Monday 14th November 2011, A trial starts at the Old Bailey in London, Two men stand accused of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Gary Dobson , aged-36  and David Norris aged-35, both denied all charges against them. The first day was spent in selecting a jury. And legal directions from the  judge.

Wednesday 16th November 2011, Eyewitness Royston Westbrook took the stand, he claimed Stephen and his friend were chatting about football when a gang of "White Youths" attacked them, the whole thing lasted less than ten seconds.
The trial was based mainly on forensic evidence, a hair belonging to Stephen Lawrence was found on a pair of Norris' jeans, and a tiny bloodstain was found on Dobson's jacket collar.

Wednesday 27th December 2011, The judge starts his summing up. Mr Justice Treacy said "emotion such as sympathy for the Lawrence family has no part to play".
"Equally, anger at the nature of the attack on Stephen Lawrence cannot guide your decision," he said.

Friday 30th December 2011, The jury retires to consider a verdict. They took a break over the New Year holiday.

Tuesday 3rd January 2012,  2:40pm Gary Dobson and David Norris are found guilty of
murdering Stephen Lawrence 19-years earlier.  The jury considered the verdict for only eight and a half hours in total.

After the verdict was announced Dobson shouted at the Jury, "You have convicted an innocent man today, l hope you can live with that". Norris, with a smile, waved at the public gallery.

Wednesday 4th January 2012, Sentenced as juveniles because they were under 18 at the time of the attack,  Both men were given life sentences,
Dobson will serve a minimum of 15-years and two months, and Norris must serve a minimum of 14-years and three months.

Mr Justice Treacy, said the crime was committed for no other reason than racial hatred.
The judge added the resulting sentences were lower than some would expect "but I am constrained by Parliament".

Monday 30th January 2012, It is confirmed that Norris and Dobson are to appeal against their conviction.
Norris' lawyer has said that the appeal will be on the grounds that about two thirds of the way through the trial what had been a scientific case became a case about a surveillance video.
Also confirmed that the attorney General is to review the sentences handed down.

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