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Stephen Lawrence Verdict: Gary Dobson And David Norris Face Sentencing

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Two men found guilty of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence will be jailed today.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were convicted by a jury yesterday, nearly 19 years after Mr Lawrence was killed.

The 18-year-old was fatally stabbed by a gang of white youths in a racist attack in Eltham, south east London in 1993.

The starting point for Dobson and Norris's sentences is 12 years because they were 17 and 16 respectively at the time of the attack.

However Justice Treacy will take into account the fact that the murder was racist, and that the pair realised that one of their group might use a knife.

Yesterday Lawrence's parents spoke of their joy and relief at the verdict, but mother Doreen said it was not an occasion for celebration.

Speaking outside the Old Bailey, with her voice breaking at times, she said: "Despite these verdicts, today is not a cause for celebration. How can I celebrate when my son lies buried, when I cannot see him or speak to him?

"When I will not see him grow up or go to university, or get married or have children. These verdicts will not bring my son back.

"How can I celebrate when I know that this day could have come 18 years ago if the police, who were meant to find my son's killers, (had not) failed so miserably to do so?"

In a statement read by his solicitor Jocelyn Cockburn, Neville Lawrence said: "My life was torn apart by the senseless murder of my son over 18 years ago.

"Unfortunately no one was brought before a court at that time, as they should have been.

"The loss itself together with the lack of justice have meant that I have not been able to rest all this time.

"I am therefore full of joy and relief that today, finally, two of my son's killers have been convicted for his murder."

Later in his statement, he said: "I'm also conscious of the fact that there were five or six attackers that night. I do not think I'll be able to rest until they are all brought to justice."

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the murdered teenager's father called for Norris and Dobson to name the rest of those responsible for his son's murder.

"I'm praying that these people now realise that they have been found out and say to themselves: 'Yes I did that awful deed, but I wasn't alone in that action that night and there are other people who are also guilty of what I have done' and name them," he said.

Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight were arrested along with Norris and Dobson in 1993 in connection with Mr Lawrence's murder.

The original investigation into the murder came under criticism by a public inquiry, which branded the Metropolitan Police institutionally racist.

More than a decade later, after successful convictions in cold cases including Damilola Taylor, a team of forensic scientists was called in to look again at the Stephen Lawrence evidence.

They discovered tiny amounts of blood, hair and fibres on clothing seized from Dobson and Norris' homes, which led to a successful prosecution.

The pair have continued to protest their innocence despite yesterday's guilty verdicts.

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