Father of Stephen Lawrence says he forgives son’s killers
The father of Stephen Lawrence has said he forgives his son’s killers, 25 years after they stabbed the 18-yearold to death as he waited for a bus in Eltham, south-east London.
Neville Lawrence, 78, said the decision to forgive the gang for the racist attack was the hardest one he would ever make, but that he was embracing his Christian faith and planned to spend the anniversary of his son’s death in church.
Two of the group of up to six men who attacked the teenager and his friend Duwayne Brooks because they were black have been convicted of murder, but the rest have evaded justice. David Norris and Gary Dobson are both serving life sentences after convictions six years ago. They were connected to the murder scene by advances in forensic science.
Three other men who have consistently been accused of the killing but never convicted are Jamie Acourt, 41, his brother Neil, 42, who uses his mother’s maiden name Stuart, and Luke Knight, 41. The initial investigation was “marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership by senior officers”, according to the judicial inquiry into the case by Sir William Macpherson.
Lawrence’s decision has come after Scotland Yard admitted it had run out of leads, although it hoped that a three-part BBC1 documentary, Stephen: The Murder That Changed a Nation, which was due to begin screening this week, could result in new witnesses coming forward.
In the documentary, Doreen Lawrence – Stephen’s mother and Neville’s former wife – described the killers as “idiots” and complained that “they had more rights than we did”.
In 2012, after the convictions of Norris and Dobson, she said she could not forgive them because “you can only forgive somebody when they have shown remorse and accepted what they have done – and they haven’t”.