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Theresa May Considers Second Public Inquiry Into Stephen Lawrence's Murder

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David Norris (right) and Gary Dobson were convicted of Stephen Lawrence's murder
David Norris (right) and Gary Dobson were convicted of Stephen Lawrence's murder

Home Secretary Theresa May is considering ordering a second public inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, according to reports.

The potential move has been triggered by fresh allegations that police corruption may have hindered the original investigation into the black teenager's killing.

It is claimed that a confidential report compiled by the Met's anti-corruption command was not disclosed to the panel of the 1998 public inquiry that examined the forces's handling of the case.

According to the Guardian, the documents focus on the conduct and integrity of former Metropolitan Police commander Ray Adams, who was involved in the probe into the 1993 murder.

Despite investigating the claims for more than a month, Scotland Yard said it could not confirm if the potentially crucial files were passed to the inquiry, headed by Sir William Macpherson.

It has prompted the family of Lawrence to urge the home secretary to launch a second probe.
Doreen Lawrence, Stephen's mother, told the newspaper: "This gives further impetus to my demand to the Home Secretary for a public inquiry into corruption.

"I cannot see how Theresa May can now refuse. Not only must a new public inquiry look at whether corruption existed in the police investigation but why it was that such critical information was kept from us - Stephen's family."

May has asked for the allegations to be thoroughly investigated to avoid undermining confidence in the police, according to reports.

Scotland Yard's complaints investigation bureau launched the investigation into Mr Adams in 1987 when he was head of criminal intelligence, according to the Guardian.

It was triggered by allegations that he had taken bribes from criminals and had improper relationships with criminal informants - something he strongly denied.

Some of the allegations against Mr Adams centred on his relationship with Kenneth Noye, who was later convicted of murder.
During the Macpherson inquiry, lawyers claimed Noye had a criminal associate, Clifford Norris, whose son, David Norris, was a prime suspect in the murder of Lawrence.

No criminal or misconduct charges were brought as a result of the internal investigation into Adams, but questions were raised over his conduct in the years before the Lawrence case, according to the newspaper.

Adams was questioned at the Macpherson inquiry about corruption, but no evidence of wrongdoing was found.

However, Lawrence says claims that the details of the anti-corruption command investigation were kept from her and the inquiry mean that the finding must be revisited.

"The revelations in the Guardian throw Macpherson's conclusions about corruption completely into doubt and justify my long-standing suspicions," she added.

It has also been claimed that another Scotland Yard officer, who interviewed the suspects following Lawrence's killing, had links to Clifford Norris. Former detective sergeant John Davidson denies any wrongdoing.

The Met Police said it has started its own probe into the files.

A force spokesman said: "The deputy commissioner is overseeing inquiries to establish paperwork relating to investigations into corruption that have been linked to the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.

"Should any new information arise it would be seriously considered."

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