Met chief Dick blamed for retiring Lawrence case DCI
Victim’s friend tells of frustration on 25th anniversary of racist knife murder
STEPHEN LAWRENCE’S best friend has said he blames Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, for the force’s failure to bring his other racist killers to justice.
Duwayne Brooks, who was with Stephen on the night of the murder, said Ms Dick should have allowed the detective who put two of the killers behind bars to continue his investigation.
Instead, Det Ch Insp Clive Driscoll, who was commended by a judge for his work on the case, had to retire, despite insisting he had other leads to follow.
Speaking before tomorrow’s anniversary marking 25 years since he saw his friend knifed to death as they walked home in Eltham, south-east London, Mr Brooks said he was still haunted by the events.
He said that Mr Driscoll, whose tireless investigation led to Gary Dobson and David Norris being jailed for life in 2012, should have been given more time to continue pursuing the rest of the gang behind the attack.
Mr Brooks claimed Ms Dick took Mr Driscoll off the case and therefore bore responsibility for the fact that the other killers were still walking free.
“Clive Driscoll put a lot of time and effort into the investigation in a way that wasn’t being done before,” Mr Brooks explained. “He had built up relationships with family, friends and witnesses. He felt he was on a path to getting something else.”
Mr Driscoll has claimed that in 2013 he unearthed a witness whose testimony had meant “there was a real chance” of a third prosecution in the case.
However, he said the following year he was forced out of the Met and even had his offers to assist the case while in retirement rejected.
In 2014, a report by Mark Ellison QC found evidence of corruption within the original police investigation into Stephen’s murder.
Mr Driscoll wrote: “You would think that the Met would have redoubled their efforts to nail Stephen’s other killers. But they didn’t. Instead they got rid of me.
“I was 62 but it was entirely in their power to ask me to stay on for a few years. I’d have done so with pleasure. Another DCI was appointed in my place. I offered to be on permanent standby in case he ever needed help...i’m still waiting for the phone to ring.”
Mr Brooks, 43, told The Daily Telegraph: “After finally succeeding in bringing these two people to court and the jury convicting them, Clive Driscoll was told: ‘Thank you for your services, it’s been nice knowing you’.
“You have to ask why? He was taken off the case by Cressida Dick. I blame her for that. She took that decision.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “This is not a fair or accurate reflection of the facts. The team through dedication and professionalism secured the convictions.
“Following that, the team continued under the excellent leadership of Chris Le Pere with the full confidence of the Metropolitan Police.”
‘He [DCI Clive Driscoll] felt he was on a path to getting something else. He was taken off the case by Cressida Dick. I blame her for that’
Duwayne Brooks, left, with Neville Lawrence, Stephen’s father, said Det Ch Insp Clive Driscoll should have been given more time to pursue the rest of the gang
Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racially motivated attack in 1993