Inquiry Halted as Policeman Is Accused of Lying; JUSTICE FOR STEPHEN LAWRENCE
THE Stephen Lawrence inquiry was dramatically halted yesterday after his family accused a police sergeant of lying.
Sergeant Nigel Clement had told the inquiry he and other officers reached the scene while Stephen was lying, fatally wounded, on the pavement.
He said he quickly searched the area for suspects. But Stephen Kamlish, representing the Lawrence family, said they did not accept Sgt Clement arrived when he said he did.
He said: 'They do not accept that he did the searches or carried out the thorough inquiries he said he did.' Sgt Clement, who joined the Metropolitan Police in 1976 and was a member of its Territorial Support Group, insisted he was telling the truth.
After nearly an hour's cross-examination the inquiry chairman, Sir William Macpherson, adjourned the proceedings because he said he was concerned that Sgt Clement had been accused of lying without being warned beforehand.
Under inquiry rules, anyone called as a witness must be told of any allegation made against them before they give evidence.
Evidence from Sgt Clement and Inspector Steven Groves, who arrived on the scene at the same time, was postponed until they have been informed of the allegations and taken legal advice.
Stephen, 18, was stabbed to death in April 1993 by a gang of white youths as he waited for a bus.
Before Sgt Clement left the witness box, he told the inquiry that when he arrived at the murder scene in Eltham, South-East London, he did not see any blood from Stephen's injuries. …