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Police investigating racist murder of Stephen Lawrence say investigation is now 'inactive'
11 August 2020, 15:51
The Met Police have moved the investigation into Stephen Lawrence's racist murder to an "inactive phase" after all lines of inquiry were completed.
Stephen was just 18 when he was stabbed to death in April 1993 on Well Hall Road in Eltham. He was with his friend Dwayne Brooks at the time.
Five white men were eventually identified, but it wasn't until 2012 - almost 20 years after his murder - that Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted for his murder following a trial that hinged on tiny traces of forensic evidence found years after the crime.
They were both given life sentences.
Two of the three remaining suspects, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt, have since served jail time for drug dealing, while Luke Knight has remained free.
When the force announced two years ago that it was mothballing the investigation and it was unlikely to progress without new information, Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence, said she wanted the probe closed.
However, his father, Neville, said he hoped the family could get "total justice" and that he would never give up.
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick today said: “This was an appalling racist murder and I am sad that we have been unable to secure further convictions for Stephen, his family and friends. I, and the senior investigator in charge of the case, Chris Le Pere, have met with Baroness Lawrence and Mr Lawrence and fully explained the work the team have been doing, and why we are now at this stage.
“The investigation has now moved to an ‘inactive’ phase, but I have given Stephen’s family the assurance that we will continue to deal with any new information that comes to light.
“The investigation into Stephen’s murder will also be periodically reviewed for any further investigative opportunities which may arise, for example with advances in technology.
“Mr Brooks, who was with Stephen on the night he died, has also been advised of the decision.
“We were able to secure two convictions following a determined investigation in 2012 but it is well known that other suspects were also involved in the events which unfolded that night and it is deeply frustrating that we have been unable to bring them to justice.
“As a result of ceaseless campaigning for justice by Stephen’s parents, profound changes have happened in policing, the law and wider society. I pay tribute to them for their courage and achievements.
”And today my thoughts are with them and all Stephen’s loved ones.”