Stephen Lawrence's father says he forgives his son's killers

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 16, 2018

Mr Lawrence named the five men, saying: 'The people who were said to be involved in the murder of my son were Neil Acourt, Luke Knight, Gary Dobson, David Norris and Jamie Acourt.

The initial investigation into Stephen Lawrence's death 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.

Reports of the potential new inquiry emerged as Lawrence's father, Neville, announced that he has chosen to forgive his son's killers.

Mr Lawrence said he would spend the anniversary of the murder in church, but wanted to continue to work with young people to explain the dire consequences of carrying a weapon.

David Norris and Gary Dobson are now serving life sentences for their roles in the murder.

Mr Lawrence and his ex-wife Doreen met Nelson Mandela two weeks after Stephen died.

His comments come ahead of a three-part BBC documentary on the Stephen Lawrence murder, the first episode of which will air tomorrow.

Mr Lawrence's solicitor Jocelyn Cockburn, from Hodge Jones and Allen, said: 'I am humbled by his message of forgiveness to mark the anniversary of his son's death.

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".

Stephen was murdered by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, on April 22, 1993, at the age of 18.

Mr Lawrence believes that, in death, his aspiring architect son has become a legend.

He said: 'When these boys killed my son Stephen, they created a legend. There is debate about racism, there are organisations set up to help to make people understand about racism, the police have been put under the spotlight because of Stephen's death'. I can't begin to explain the pain and the anguish my family and I have suffered over the past 25 years'.

He said that he was now motivated to intervene in the recent surge in knife crime in parts of the United Kingdom, particularly London where there have been almost 60 murders this year.

He added: "My family, especially me, I will never be the person I was before Stephen's death". Maybe sometimes people think you can just brush things aside. You can never brush this aside, this is going to live with you for the rest of your life.

'This is a life sentence that you can't finish. I've been serving a life sentence for the last 25 years and I will go on serving that until the day I die.

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