Two white men, Gary Dobson (36) and David Norris (35), convicted of killing Afro-Caribbean teenager Stephen Lawrence 18 years ago in one of Britain’s most horrific racist attacks were on Wednesday jailed for life as police said they were determined to bring the remaining nine suspects to justice.
Sentencing Dobson for a minimum of 15 years and two months and Norris for 14 years and three months in a packed court at the Old Bailey here, the judge Justice Treacy said their crime had ``scarred the nation’’. The only motive for the ``terrible and evil crime’’ was racial hatred.
``A totally innocent 18-year-old youth on the threshold of a promising life was brutally cut down in the street in front of eye witnesses by a racist, thuggish gang. You were both members of that gang. I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes," he told the pair.
Dobson’s father shouted, ``Shame on all you’’, as the sentence was read out.
Lawrence was 18 when he was stabbed to death near a bus stop in Eltham, south London, in April 1993 after being chased by his killers.
The killing outraged the nation and an inquiry commission found Scotland Yard ``institutionally racist’’ for its botched first investigation.
This week’s conviction followed a new trial after a review of the case in 2006.
Stephen’s father Neville described the sentencing as "only one step in a long, long journey" while the mother Doreen called it ``the beginning of starting a new life because we've been in limbo for so long."
The family had expected longer minimum sentences but they said they recognised that the judge’s ``hands were tied’’. He was obliged to treat the killers as juveniles as they were teenagers at the time of the crime.