26/07/2006

Corruption claims made over Lawrence murder

The family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence have called for a new inquiry into his death, after claims of police corruption were made in a new television documentary.

In the BBC One documentary 'The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence' - which will be shown at 9pm on Wednesday - it is alleged that Clifford Norris, the father of one of the suspects, David Norris, bribed police.

Mr Lawrence's family have now lodged a complaint with the Independent Police Complaints Commission, requesting a new inquiry into the claims.

Commenting on the case, IPCC deputy chairman John Wadham said: "There are two serious allegations in this film and we will be asking the Metropolitan Police Service to record the misconduct complaints. We would then expect the MPS to refer them back to the IPCC for us to decide how they are investigated."

The Metropolitan Police Authority chairman Len Duvall said that he had "serious concerns" about the allegations of corruption made in the documentary and said that he had asked Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair for an update at Thursday's meeting of the MPA Full Authority.

Mr Duvall said: "This case is not closed and if new information comes to light the MPA's expectation is that the MPS will carry out a full investigation."

Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in Eltham, south-east London in April 1993.

Five suspects - Neil Acourt, his brother Jamie, David Norris, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight - were arrested shortly after the murder.

A private prosecution brought by the Lawrence family against three of the men collapsed in 1996.

No-one has been convicted, in spite of two police investigations into the murder.

The Macpherson Inquiry into the case concluded that the Metropolitan Police Force was infected with "institutional racism".

(KMcA/SP)

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