Lawrence murderers given life sentences

 
City A.M. Reporter
Two men who took part in the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993 - a landmark case which exposed what an inquiry called the "institutional racism" of London's police force - were given life sentences today.

Judge Colman Treacy ruled that Gary Dobson should serve a minimum 15 years and two months and David Norris 14 years and three months.

"This was a terrible and evil crime," he told a packed courtroom at the Old Bailey. "This crime was committed for no other reason than 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," he added. "I have no doubt at all that you fully subscribed to its views and attitudes."

The minimum sentences reflect the fact that Dobson and Norris were under 18 when Lawrence was murdered in southeast London in 1993.

Dobson, now 36, and Norris, 35, were found guilty on Tuesday.