Pair jailed for UK teen race murder

2012-01-04 15:00
London - A British judge sentenced two white men to minimum jail terms of 14 years and 15 years respectively on Wednesday for the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993.

Gary Dobson, 36, was sentenced to serve at least 15 years and two months while David Norris, 35, was sentenced to at least 14 years three months after a jury found them guilty on Tuesday.

Judge Colman Treacy told the Old Bailey court in London it was a "terrible and evil crime", and that the pair would have faced longer sentences except for the fact that they were teenagers when the murder happened.

Lawrence, a promising 18-year-old student, was stabbed to death at a bus stop in Eltham, southeast London, in April 1993 by a white gang, in what became one of Britain's most notorious unsolved crimes.

Treacy said Lawrence was killed "for no other reason than racial hatred".

Britain's top police officer, Scotland Yard Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, said shortly before the sentences were passed that "the other people involved in the murder of Stephen Lawrence should not rest easily in their beds".

Lawrence's murder and the subsequent botched police inquiry were a landmark event in Britain.

A judicial inquiry into the police probe in 1999 found it was marred by professional incompetence, leadership failures and, crucially, "institutional racism", a charge which led to an overhaul of London's Metropolitan force.

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