Lawrence family makes inquiry plea

Claims an officer who interviewed suspects had links to one of their gangster fathers.

The family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence will this week write to the Home Secretary to call for an inquiry into police wrongdoing to be reopened in light of fresh allegations of corruption.

It is alleged a Scotland Yard officer, who interviewed the suspects following the killing, had links to one of their fathers, a gangster.

Detective Sergeant John Davidson is said to have had close ties to Clifford Norris, whose son David Norris was arrested in the weeks after the 1993 racist attack.

Norris was convicted along with Gary Dobson in January this year of murder - 19 years after the crime - and both were sentenced to life at the Old Bailey.

Norris was told he must serve at least 14 years and three months, while Dobson was given a minimum jail term of 15 years and two months.

It is believed the pair had three or four accomplices, who remain at large.

Imran Khan, the Lawrence family solicitor, said: "Over the last few days we have had revelations that corruption may have infected the initial investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence."

He said it was unsuitable for the police or the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to investigate the issue, and called for The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry to be reconvened.

The subsequent Macpherson Report in February 1999 made 70 recommendations, many aimed at the institutionalised racism throughout the Metropolitan Police.

"The only way that we can move this forward is for the Home Secretary to reconvene the original inquiry, which couldn't deal with the issue of corruption back then because it didn't have the material on which to consider it," Mr Khan said.

"The idea is for that to be looked into, not simply to root out corruption and to get to the bottom of it, but also it may have an impact on opening up lines of inquiry on the remaining individuals who are said to be responsible for Stephen's murder."