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Spectator Charged Over Rod Liddle Article During Stephen Lawrence Trial

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Stephen Lawrence's mother is to meet Travyon Martin's mother
Stephen Lawrence's mother is to meet Travyon Martin's mother

The Spectator is to be prosecuted for breaching a court order over an article written by Rod Liddle during the trial of two men charged with Stephen Lawrence's murder.

The article was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service in November during a trial which Gary Dobson and David Norris were accused and subsequently convicted of the racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence.

The CPS made the statement as it emerged that Doreen Lawrence, Stephen Lawrence's mother is to meet with the mother of Travyon Martin, who also faced a battle to see a man charged with the murder of her son, reports ITV news.

Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, is arriving in London on 9 May to thank the British public for their support during the struggle to bring her son's killer to justice. Doreen Lawrence sent her sympathy to Fulton, their son's lives both cut short before they reached adulthood.

Trayvon Martin, 17, was unarmed when he was shot by the neighbourhood watchman in a gated community in Florida. For six weeks George Zimmerman, the man accused of shooting her son, was not charged with the teen's murder.

A protest was staged by demonstrators outside the US embassy in London on 31 March. Marchers were asked to wear hoodies and carry a pack of skittles which was what Martin was wearing and said to be carrying when he was shot.

Protesters held up banners saying "We are all Trayvon Martin", whilst comedienne Ava Vidal read out a message from Doreen Lawrence.

Dianne Abbot, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington added her support to the campaign.

Whilst she apologised for not being able to be present for the protest herself, Vidal read out a message Abbott had written.

"Trayvon was an un-armed teenager who got gunned down in cold blood.

"His case speaks to the demonisation of young black men here and in North America. Trayvon should never be forgotten." wrote Abbott.

Zimmerman has now been released on bail after paying $15,000. However even his bail bond has divided the US as the lawyer for Trayvon Martin's family has argued that bail should have been set much higher due to the $200,000 Zimmerman has received in donations.

Doreen Lawrence has also faced a battle to see Dobson and Norris convicted of her son's murder.

The pair's conviction came more than 15 years after Stephen Lawrence was murdered by a racist gang at a bus stop in south east London in 1993. It is believed that the pair had three or four accomplices, who remain at large.

The article written by Rod Liddle during the Old Bailey trial, called defendants Gary Dobson and David Norris "disgusting racists"

Liddle wrote that Dobson and Norris were part of a bigger group of suspects who had been named in the press, including Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight.

He also said that Norris had a father who was a major criminal.

The Spectator took down the article from its website that afternoon.

A statement on the CPS website quotes CPS London Chief Crown Prosecutor Alison Saunders, who says that due to the "intense media interest" in the case an order banning "publication of certain assertions about the defendants was in place."

"Having applied the full code test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors I have taken the decision that there is a realistic prospect of conviction. The Attorney General has determined that it is in the public interest to proceed and he has given his consent to this prosecution."