The Star Late Edition
Just an ordinary, ambitious boy
LONDON: He was 18 and on the brink of fulfilling his ambition to train as an architect.
In school he was a promising student; outside, a burgeoning athlete.
By the time six weeks of evidence came to a close at the Old Bailey, the jury knew everything about Stephen Lawrence’s death, right down to the angle the knife was plunged into his chest.
They knew virtually nothing about his life. Remarkably, they were never even shown his photograph. In truth, his story is unremarkable – but one which illustrates how a single act of violence snatched away a young man’s future and devastated an ordinary, decent family.
The oldest of three children, Stephen was born on September 13, 1974. His brother Stuart is two years younger and sister Georgina six years younger.
When the children were growing up, the Lawrences, originally from Jamaica, did everything as a family. They attended the local Methodist Church, where Stephen volunteered to help old people.
The family ate together when possible and went on traditional English holidays.
At the time Stephen was murdered he was doing A-levels at Blackheath Bluecoat School, where he was popular, gregarious and confident.
At one point Stephen, who was taken to Jamaica as a baby, even considered going back to the Caribbean to forge a career there. Instead, the island was to become his final resting place because his family feared his grave would be attacked by racists if it was in England.
His mother, Doreen, told the BBC’S Panorama: “Had he been buried in the UK his grave would have been desecrated so many times.
“I think it’s still the best thing we did, that we brought him here so he can be next to his great-grandmother.” – Daily Mail