Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lawrence Police 'Missed Chance to Prosecute Killers'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lawrence Police 'Missed Chance to Prosecute Killers'

Article excerpt

Byline: SAM LYONS

A KEY chance to prosecute the suspects in the murder of Stephen Lawrence was missed, a former senior police officer has said.

Evidence may exist for the gang of white youths to be tried for conspiracy to stab, an offence which can be punished with a maximum life sentence, according to David Clapperton, former Kent Assistant Chief Constable.

The initiation to join the gang in Eltham, where Stephen was killed 13 years ago, was to stab someone.

Mr Clapperton, who ran the Kent complaint investigation into the Met's handling of the racehate murder, said: "I believe there was, and maybe still is, evidence from various people, local to Eltham, that could expose an agreement between the gang members that to join the gang you had to stab someone."

Mr Clapperton joined the legal team of Stephen's father, Neville, in January after Mr Lawrence launched a fresh attempt to put the killers behind bars.

Mr Lawrence has started judicial review proceedings in order to see all the information behind the Crown Prosecution Service decision not to launch a new prosecution, fearing they may be sitting on vital evidence. …

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