On the Stephen Lawrence murder trial – post sentencing

The BBC says:

“A totally innocent 18 year old youth on the threshold of a promising life was brutally cut down in the street in front of eye witnesses by a racist thuggish gang,” he told Dobson and Norris.

“You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes.”

He said the assault was “a brief but co-ordinated attack, a racist taunt, a charge and a swallowing up of Stephen Lawrence”.

“I’m sure that you knew one of your group was armed with a knife that night,” the judge said. “The evidence does not prove you had the knife, but the holder had it with your approval.”

Mr Justice Treacy said the encounter was not premeditated but Dobson and Norris had been prepared to attack if the opportunity arose.

The evidence does not prove thy had the knife, but the holder had it with your approval…. So there is no evidence these people killed Stephen Lawrence, yet they are sentenced for murder. That just doesn’t make sense. And the judge cannot assert that the knife wielder did hold it with the approval of Dobson and Norris (although one suspects they probably did).

Given the lack of evidence, shouldn’t Dobson and Norris be standing trial for difference charges other than murder? It matters not that they are probably vile scum, what matters is the law is carried properly.

I can’t believe that Dobson and Norris will have any appeal turned down (unless those considering the appeal act politically).

Dobson and Norris are surely victims of a perversion of justice.
Older post: https://lwtc247.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/justice-for-stephen-lawrence-and-wider-implications/

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17 Responses to “On the Stephen Lawrence murder trial – post sentencing”


  1. 1 Akmar January 4, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    I’ve never thought of this issue frm this perspective.

    I didnt even know what exactly happened to S Lawrence then, but since this news has been played all over the radio channels here and everyone seemed to be cheering over the “punishment”, I thought he really died in the hands of the two.

    Seems like there is always something hidden in news.

  2. 4 lwtc247 January 5, 2012 at 11:52 am

    It seems likely to me that these two were involved in Stephen Lawrence’s murder and may have been the actual murderers, but in my eyes, law and punishment regarding serious matters such as this should [correction]NOT[end correction] be dispensed on ifs and maybes, which one gets the feeling, is the case here.
    .

  3. 5 lwtc247 January 5, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “Seems like there is always something hidden in news.” – I very much agree. After a while, one gets s touch suspicious at how frequent these hidden/reserved/omitted things occur.

  4. 6 Akmar January 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    “…..should be be dispensed on ifs and maybes”

    should NOT be dispensed or should?
    haha.. sorry, if it is a typo then I understand what you were trying to say but if it wasn’t, then I’ll have to find the meaning behind that sentence.

  5. 7 lwtc247 January 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Aaagh. Yes, I made a bad typo earlier (which I’ve now corrected above)

    should NOT be dispensed. I hope readers would have realised it was an error.

  6. 8 heather January 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I would love to know why you view this as unjust I feel an injustice they were in able to sentenced longer it. Its clearly apparent when you look at all they evidence that they were present n involved in the slaughter of a Young innocent boy who was murdered for having been born black.To me and anyone I have spoken to it is of no importance who struck the actually blow they were fully involved and behind the action. Which makes them just as guilty. The disrespect and callous attitude they have portrayed throughout the investigation right back from 1993 is more proof they have no regard for the results of their groups action that night nor care to even express there sympathy for Stephens family. Personally I am happy that at last it seems that there is some real recognition that it is not acceptable to be a racist thug escape justice rip Stephen Lawrence

    • 9 lwtc247 January 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm

      Hi heather.

      My stance comes from what I read and understood of what the judge said at the end of the trial. I don’t think it was proven that they murdered him, i.e. they held the knife and they stabbed him. I agree it seems they were part of the gang that killed Stephen, the charges should (in my untrained legal opinion) have been “accessory to murder”, “obstructing justice” etc, but not be convicted as being a “murderer”.

      “it is of no importance who struck the actually blow” – Well I believe it is. I think people are letting their desire for ‘justice for Stephen’ – and his family of course – to get in the way of proper rational thinking.

      “The disrespect and callous attitude they have portrayed throughout the investigation right back from 1993 is more proof they have no regard for the results of their groups action that night nor care to even express there sympathy for Stephens family.” – on that I agree 100%

      If they did murder him, i.e. if they were the stabbers, then I too would feel an injustice at their sentence. For them, Life should mean life. Same for those sickening Acourt (Jamie and Neil) basterds. Remember them? and their horrifying arrogance and their (dare I say) ‘pride’ about it all?

      If Dobson and Norris have experienced a miscarriage of justice (in the sense they were convicted of the wrong crime) then I must say, I don’t feel too unhappy at it, but I have to believe justice for all and the law being applied properly.

      In summary, get them convicted on the right charges and give this trash a LONG LONG term in the worst prison we have.Hopefully you understand my position on this now.

      Best regards.

  7. 10 Bev January 9, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Really interesting post and I do believe that despite emotions law is law.
    However, its been a while since I studied law but what about the case of Greatrex and the CA decision of R v. Stuart didn’t both cases touch on the issue of “common intent”. I’m just racking my brains but if someone has time they can look at it themselves. Correct me if I am wrong. They Judges mentioned something about “if you are aware of a person carrying a weapon and even though you don’t use the weapon but you are aware of the others intention (murder or cause serious bodily harm) but as long as there is a common intent to cause murder or serious bodily harm within the group you will be held liable” I really paraphrased this and I just brought out what I could remember. So one could ask the question whether or not there was “common intent of murder”

  8. 12 MerseyJim January 10, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Disagree with you here mate. The evidence clearly points to guilt – the defence could get no expert forensic witness to vouch for them (all they could do was cross- examine the prosecution witnesses). The two did not have clear alibis (the mother of one of the defendants only came up with her alibi recently). And you don’t have to be weilding the weapon to be convicted of murder – the rules on joint enterprise clearly state that all persons who take part in the attack (even if they were just ‘look outs’) can be convicted of murder.

    As for ‘common intent of murder’, you don’t need that for murder. You only need intent to cause serious harm. I think the latter is clear! You don’t stab someone with the intent to cause minimal harm!

    The sentences, however, were about right given sentencing structures at the time and the fact that they were under 18. I can’t see the Attorney General extending them. However, given Dobson and Norris will have to jump through hoops to get parole at tariff end (including accepting guilt and showing remorse), they may well be in prison long after 14/15 years.

    Beyond all reasonable doubt is not beyond all doubt btw. The conviction was just – the jury got it right imo.

    • 13 lwtc247 January 11, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Guilt of being involved with the death, yes. Guilt they did it? No. It does not matter no ‘expert forensic witness to vouch for them’ that doesn’t mean they did it. Forensic scientists are also subject to employment pressures.

      “the rules on joint enterprise clearly state that all persons who take part in the attack (even if they were just ‘look outs’) can be convicted of murder.” – Well, if that’s the law, (I doubt it was always like this), then I think the law has been spun wrongly. Virtually all British are guilty of mass multiple genocide (against the Iraqi’s and the people of Afghanistan).

      “Beyond all reasonable doubt is not beyond all doubt btw” – I know that, but one persons reasonable is another persons definite and anothers dismissal. It’s a subjective fudge factor, like the one the Police have for ‘obstruction’, ‘resisting arrest’, ‘disturbing the peace’ and so on.

      I’m not unhappy they are getting a stiff punishment.

      I hope those Acort slimeballs get there comeuppance.

  9. 14 mercadee January 23, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    it was announced that two of the original suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were to stand trial for the murder in the light of “new and substantial evidence” becoming available.

  10. 15 sjbell February 1, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Joint enterprise is a 300 year old ruling it was re applied to combat gang crime bur aleays been a charge. and if you want to put this into iraq and afghanistan your wrong iraq was a dictatorship where the country was surpressed (doesnt make it right) but 90% of the iraq population prefer post saddam and appreiciate the coalition support, and afghanistan is not on the contry or people it’s against a terrorist coup again murdering it’s own and others and surpressing their citizens because the money they can make on the opium trade speak to these people in THEIR COUNTRY (its not being claimed its theirs) and they support the forces and help to rid their country of a disease they do not want.

  11. 16 sjbell February 1, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Joint enterprise is a 300 year old ruling it was re applied to combat gang crime but has always been there as a charge. and if you want to put this into iraq and afghanistan your wrong iraq was a dictatorship where the country was surpressed (doesnt make it right) but 90% of the iraq population prefer post saddam and appreiciate the coalition support, and afghanistan is not on the country or it’s people it’s against a terrorist coup again murdering it’s own and others and surpressing their citizens because the money they can make on the opium trade speak to these people in THEIR COUNTRY (its not being claimed its their country) and they support the forces and help to rid their country of a disease they do not want.

  12. 17 MerseyJim February 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

    The rules on war are different from the rules in peace. That might not be fair but it has always been thus. (That said, there ARE rules governing what is permissable in combat and there always have been).

    sjbell is right – joint enterprise is a very old part of English common law. The US also has it (calls it ‘common purpose’). And it applies to all crimes – not just murder.


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