Stephen Lawrence, Gary Dobson, David Norris and a political trial

Robert Henderson

The conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence is a savage and sinister travesty of justice. That is not because the defendants are necessarily innocent . What is profoundly worrying is the decision to prosecute regardless of the feeble quality of the new  evidence,  the placing in double jeopardy of Dobson (who had been formally acquitted in 1996 of the murder  when a private prosecution was brought) ,   the general  difficulties of a trial held 18 years after the event, the all too perniciously potent legacy of the Macpherson Report  and the almost continuous media circus which has accompanied the Lawrence killing for nearly 19 years and repeatedly savaged the reputation of the defendants .

The impossibility of a fair trial

The question of whether Dobson and Norris could get a fair trial should have been tested before the case was heard.   Despite assiduous attempts, I can find no  media reports that either Dobson or Norris’ lawyers applied to have the trial struck down on those grounds.  If no application was made by their lawyers ,the defendants would have every reason to feel cheated  because if ever there was a case where a fair trial would have been impossible this is it.

To understand exactly how outlandishly contaminating the circumstances surrounding the defendants were  it is necessary to  know of the  previous attempts at prosecution,  the scandalous behaviour tolerated at the Macpherson Inquiry, especially the behaviour towards the suspects,  and the virulent and extended  hate campaign waged by the British media against Dobson and Norris (and other  suspects).

The police originally had five  white  youths in the frame  for the murder, Dobson and Norris plus  Luke Knight and the brothers Neil and  Jamie Acourt.  The CPS refused to prosecute in 1994. The parents of Stephen Lawrence  then initiated a private prosecution   against  the five suspects, but only Jamie Acourt, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight  stood trial. The granting of a private prosecution is rare for any crime because the Attorney-General has to sanction such prosecutions; for a charge of murder it is unprecedented at least  in modern times( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/first-private-prosecution-for-murder-3-held-1616684.html.)

The trial collapsed when the judge ruled that the identification evidence of  Lawrence’s friend Duwayne Brooks, who had been with him on the night, was inadmissible (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-41.htm#41.3). That was scarcely surprising as Brooks originally told  the police he could not positively identify any of the attackers then later changed his story and said he could and picked out Neil Acourt and Luke Knight. As by his own story, Brooks ran away as fast he could when the attack happened and the  attack took place at night (around 10.30 pm on 22 April), it would seem improbable that he could have identified  the attackers with any certainty.  It is worth adding that (1) identification evidence is notoriously unreliable, especially where strangers are involved, and (2) the three independent witnesses to the attack were unable to identify any of the attackers.  The attack was also over very quickly.

Despite the failure to mount a criminal prosecution by the CPS and the abject failure of the private prosecution, the British media continued their campaign against those suspected of the murder. In 1997 the Daily Mail ran a front page which accused the five suspects of murder and challenged them to sue for libel (http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/features/frontpage/lawrence.html).    This was an act of outright cowardice by the Mail because they knew none of those they accused could afford to sue them.  A libel case against a the Daily Mail would have probably  have cost, at 2012 prices,  £1m to fund  because the Mail were determined to take it to court. But even if  the case was  won,  the judge would probably not have awarded  the plaintiff their  costs in full or even at all  and any  award would certainly be far less than the plaintiff’s  costs and probably derisory. If  the case was lost the plaintiff  would have to bear his  own costs and those of the Mail which would mean at least £2 million at today’s values.

The one family amongst the accused which had some degree of affluence at the time of  murder was that of David Norris, whose father Clifford was reputedly running  the drug trade in South London.  But Clifford Norris was jailed for nine years in 1994 and served seven years which reduced him to penury. In 2006 the Guardian found him living in a bedsit (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/aug/06/politics.lawrence).

But   even if a libel suit  had by some miracle been mounted, it is dubious if it would have succeeded because of the public demolition of the suspects’  characters over years. That would almost certainly have seriously biased any jury against them and  it could have been argued that the plaintiff(s) had no reputation to lose. Even if  a suit was successful, any damages would probably have been derisory on the same grounds of little reputation to lose.   It is worth mentioning that the editor of the Mail, Paul Dacre, knew Stephen Lawrence’s father  Neville, because Neville  had done some plastering work for him.

In 1998, through a combination of the more or less perpetual  media campaign and the religiously  politically correct  Blair Government,    the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry began presided over by a   senior judge,   Sir William Macpherson. This contained truly amazing scenes. In what was  a quasi-judicial proceeding there was an atmosphere close to mob rule.  Within the Inquiry  frequent interruption occurred in the public galleries, especially when the police were giving evidence.  At one point members of the Nation of Islam invaded the building and fought with the police (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/special_report/1999/02/99/stephen_lawrence/282378.stm).

When the five suspects left the Inquiry after giving evidence  they were met by a mob and were physically attacked  by missiles and  directly assaulted by members of the mob (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/123608.stm).  Why they were expected to walk  through a mob when they left the building is a mystery because the police must have realised the crowd was likely to attack. Nor did the police show any urgency to either protect the suspects or arrest their assailants.

The publication of the Macpherson Report  in 1999 on the evidence given at the  Inquiry ensured the  Lawrence murder remained in the mainstream media throughout the eleven years leading up to the recent trial.   In addition, Macpherson’s  “anti-racist” recommendations, which included a dangerously broad definition of a racial incident as ” any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person” (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-47.htm),  were adopted throughout public service and then by private and not-for-profit  employers, especially the larger ones, many of which rely heavily on public contracts.

Politicians  of all mainstream parties competed to be the most enthusiastic  about this new quasi-Maoist “anti-racist” regimen under which  to make any comment which could be construed as “racist”,   however absurdly,  would probably mean the end of a career of a politician or public servant.  Unsurprisingly, public servants at all levels became eager to demonstrate how politically correct they were, both to advance their careers and to protect themselves.

Perhaps the single  most sinister  consequence of Macpherson  was the institutionalising of “anti-racism” – extremely crude  propaganda in practice – within the British state education system (http://www.schools-out.org.uk/teachingpack/stephenlawrence.htm), but the effect on  the police and justice system runs it close.

Macpherson did not believe that  racism did not  have to be consciously motivated.  He labelled the Metropolitan Police “institutionally racist”  (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-06.htm#6.6) ,  by which he meant, as far as he meant anything, unwitting racism arising from the general culture of  a corporate body.  The Metropolitan police at first rejected the tag of institutional racism but eventually  caved in, after which the other police forces in Britain followed suit.

To attack police racism, whether  deliberate or unintentional, Macpherson recommended that the police be directly placed under race laws:   “47/11That the full force of the Race Relations legislation should apply to all police officers, and that Chief Officers of Police should be made vicariously liable for the acts and omissions of their officers relevant to that legislation.” (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-47.htm).   This was enshrined in law in the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/34/contents)

The effect of Macpherson on  the police was to render them, and especially the most senior officers,  rigid with political correctness – the toxic fruits of which  can be starkly  seen in the police statement that the recent killing of the Indian student Anuj Bidve by a white attacker in Salford was a “hate crime” despite the fact that  the police admitted  there is no evidence for this  (http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2011/12/30/white-attackernon-white-victim-racist-motive-non-white-attackerwhite-victim-no-racist-motive/).   This mentality has continued to drive the Stephen Lawrence case.

The publication of the Macpherson Report provided the mainstream media with a never ending stream of stories related to the Lawrence killing. He became the lead icon for “anti-racism”. No area of life escaped. Not only schools and the police but every workplace was directly or indirectly affected by the consequences of the Lawrence murder.  Stephen’s mother Doreen ceaselessly  campaigned for further investigations  into the death . The ever expanding band of “anti-racist” interest groups were ready at the drop of a hat to use his death as a lever to get other perceived racist affronts into the public eye.    The mainstream media, without exception dominated  by enthusiastic “anti-racists” and “multiculturalists”, was  always willing to run another Stephen Lawrence story and only too eager to seize on any claimed example of racism and give it an airing, frequently with reference to the Lawrence murder.

Because of the constant media’s constant return to the Lawrence story there was never any chance that it would fade in the public mind.  Any trouble the  five suspect got into, including criminal convictions,  was given great prominence in the media.   The period after 1993 was also the time when the Internet took off so that no mainstream  story is ever really taken from the public fold.  Details of Norris and Dobson’s criminal past may not have been allowed into evidence at their trial, but anyone googling their names would have soon discovered the material.

With all that history,  is it conceivable that a jury could be empanelled which  was not aware of the defendants’ past  and was not influenced by the massive amount of adverse and often crudely abusive media coverage they would have inevitably experienced just in the normal course of living? To not be aware of the media’s  representation of the Stephen Lawrence case and Dobson and Norris’ involvement in it, the jurors would not  have read newspapers or listened or watched news bulletins or current affairs programmes over the past 18 years;  not found such information when using the Internet; not attended  “antiracist” courses in their workplace  and not been at school (and probably university)  after 1999  because of the institutionalisation of “antiracism” propaganda  (with Stephen Lawrence at its centre)  in British schools following the recommendation  that this be done in the Macpherson Report (Recommendation 67 – http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-47.htm).  .

Even  if by some miracle twelve people could be found who were unaware of the Lawrence case and the reputation of  Dobson and Norris,  there would still be the hurdle to overcome of the intensely politically correct atmosphere that has been gradually  created by the British elite over the past forty years.   Whites in Britain have been conditioned to believe that  it is dangerous not to play the multiculturalist game. To fail to accept the Lawrence case narrative presented to them and find Dobson and Norris not guilty would expose them to the dreaded charge of racism.  At the same time non-whites have developed a tremendous sense of victimhood  which leaves them unlikely to approach a trial such as this in disinterested fashion.

However the jury was comprised the jurors would have had good cause to return a guilty verdict regardless of the evidence.  If the jury was all white they could, and almost certainly would have been,  be portrayed, at best,  as whites  looking after their own. If the jury was racially mixed it would be very difficult for the white members to argue for a not guilty verdict if the non-white members were against it.  Conversely, a non-white member on the jury who did not believe guilt had been proved would be nervous – for fear of being seen as an uncle Tom – about voting  for not guilty, if such a vote would mean there was a unanimous  verdict and consequently it would be known that they had voted that way.

(I have not been able to  discover any details about the composition of the  jury other than that it was comprised of 8 men and 4 women  and people from the locality of the killing were excluded (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15735026). If anybody has details of the age, class, race and ethnicity of the jurors please let me know. )

If there is an equivalent case  in terms of sustained adverse  media coverage which has gone to trial I would glad to know of it.

The racist video

A video made secretly by the police of some of   the suspects including,  Dobson and Norris, during the original investigation   into the murder shows Dobson and Norris (and the others) engaging in extremely crude racist talk. Here is an example:

Neil Acourt. Sequence 11. “I reckon that every nigger should be chopped up mate and they should be left with nothing but fucking stumps….”

David Norris. Sequence 50. “If I was going to kill myself do you know what I’d do? I’d go and kill every black cunt, every paki, every copper, every mug that I know..

I’d go down to Catford and places like that I’m telling you now with two sub-machine guns and I’m telling you I’d take one of them, skin the black cunt alive mate, torture him, set him alight …. I’d blow their two legs and arms off and say go on you can swim home now …. (laughs).”

Gary Dobson. Sequence 27. “He said the fucking black bastard I am going to kill him. I cracked up laughing. I went what black geezer. He went the Wimpy one the fucking black nigger cunt, fucking black bastard. I went what the Paki……”

Luke Knight. Sequence 11. “…. it was Cameroon, a fucking nigger country… Fucking our presenters saying oh yeah we want Cameroon to win this, why the fuck should he want niggers to win it when they’re playing something fucking like Italy…..”  (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-07.htm#7.11)

It is astonishing that the video was allowed in evidence because there is a principle in English law  that  nothing can be introduced into evidence if it is not direct evidence of the crime and  would be likely to serious  bias jurors. The prime example of this is the long-standing refusal to allow evidence of previous convictions into evidence (this has been weakened as a principle too,  but still obtains in most criminal cases).  The video clearly falls into this  category because there is no admission in the recording that the suspects had committed the crime.

It has been suggested that those involved suspected or even knew they were being bugged,  and deliberately went over the top with their language to taunt the police.  But there is no hard evidence that this is the case.  Moreover, if the prosecution seriously believed that  the recording was made  when those recorded knew or suspected they were being recorded, that would have been another reason for  excluding it from evidence because it did not represent Dobson and Norris’ normal behaviour.   Because of the  conditioning to the “antiracist” mindset  outlined above, it is difficult to believe the playing of the recording to the jury followed by the evidence given by Dobson and Norris about the recording would not have had an adverse effect on the jury.

The fact that no admission of having killed Lawrence was made in the secret recording is  a pointer to their innocence.   To build on that instance there is a considerable  amount of surveillance over the years which failed to catch any of the suspects  making any admission of involvement in the murder:

“ Just weeks before the Macpherson report was published in February 1999, then Met Deputy Commissioner John Stevens asked one of his top detectives  John Grieve, to launch a no-expense spared new probe.

Career detective Mr Stevens told Mr Grieve, a deputy assistant commissioner, he could recruit the best detectives in the force.

At its peak, 120 officers were working on Operation Athena Tower, which lasted four years.

Yard chiefs were in constant contact with the then Home Secretary Jack Straw, the only person who could authorise telephone intercepts on the suspects.

Yard Assistant Commissioner David Veness approved dozens of bugging operations on the gang’s cars, homes and workplaces, while a surveillance team was constantly on their trail.

A source said: ‘It was run like a big anti-terror operation. The team had every piece of kit you have ever heard of. It was pure James Bond.’

It was during this phase that a house was purchased in the same street as one of the murder suspects, and an undercover officer tasked with infiltrating the gang.

TV INTERVIEW AND A SPY HELICOPTER

Two months after the Grieve probe started, the five suspects agreed to be interviewed by Martin Bashir on ITV’s Tonight With Trevor McDonald.

Programme makers were in close contact with the Met before the programme was recorded but for legal reasons, detectives ruled out suggesting the line of questioning.

Had they done so, defence lawyers could have argued they had used Bashir as ‘an agent of the police’ – scuppering the possibility of using it as evidence at any future trial.

Bedrooms and other pre-selected rooms in the secret house in Scotland where the interview was filmed had recording devices installed.

Scotland Yard even had a helicopter hover over the group as they played golf nearby, recording their comments, relayed by satellite from tiny microphones hidden in their golf trolleys. But the ‘bugged golf buggies’ did not provide any vital new leads – and neither did the TV show.

In May 2004, the CPS announced there was insufficient evidence to bring murder charges. One detective remarked at the time that the Yard’s best hope was if one of the suspects ‘became a vicar’ and gave a true account of what happened”. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081901/Stephen-Lawrence-trial-Police-bugged-killers-homes-cars-pubs.html  – this Mail article is worth reading in its entirety).

The fact that, despite the immense surveillance efforts made over a long period, no admission was ever recorded or heard by undercover officers pretending to be their friend strongly points to their innocence.  The temptation for young  men, adolescents when the crime happened,  to boast  amongst themselves about the crime if they had committed it would have been very strong because that is the way of young men.  Imagine keeping quiet about it for years on end even when you are drunk and  amongst people you think are your friends. It would argue for an iron self-discipline that few could muster and would be vanishingly  unlikely  to be found in every one of a group of five or more.

The breaching of double jeopardy

The ancient English law principle of no double jeopardy  – that there should be no more than one trial on the same offence or evidence after an acquittal  has been gained – was diluted by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. This provided for  more than twenty offences  to attract the possibility of a second trial on the same charge after being acquitted previously.  Murder is one of the qualifying offences. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/part/10).   The breaching of double jeopardy was one of the Macpherson  recommendations – no 28  – although he was making the suggestion only in relation to racist crimes. (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-47.htm).

The removal of double jeopardy is dangerously wrong  in itself,  because of the opportunity it gives to the state to behave in an oppressive manner. To that  ill  is added that of de facto retrospection, for it is not only crimes committed after the 2003 Act which are caught by it but any crime committed before the Act was passed. Dobson was acquitted during  the private prosecution  and  until the 2003 Act was passed could not have been retried.   He is also a victim of retrospection.

There are supposedly strong safeguards against the abuse of power built into the 2003 Act.  The court of Appeal  has to quash the original acquittal and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)  has to give the go ahead for a new prosecution.  There is also a seemingly stern test for the new evidence on which a fresh trial will be based. Section 78 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 requires that the new evidence must meet the following tests:

78 New and compelling evidence

(1)The requirements of this section are met if there is new and compelling evidence against the acquitted person in relation to the qualifying offence.

(2)Evidence is new if it was not adduced in the proceedings in which the person was acquitted (nor, if those were appeal proceedings, in earlier proceedings to which the appeal related).

(3)Evidence is compelling if—

(a)it is reliable,

(b)it is substantial, and

(c)in the context of the outstanding issues, it appears highly probative [Having the effect of proof, tending to prove, or actually proving] of the case against the acquitted person.

(4)The outstanding issues are the issues in dispute in the proceedings in which the person was acquitted and, if those were appeal proceedings, any other issues remaining in dispute from earlier proceedings to which the appeal related.

(5)For the purposes of this section, it is irrelevant whether any evidence would have been admissible in earlier proceedings against the acquitted person. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2003/44/part/10).

The problem with such putative safeguards is that they  allow a great deal of latitude in their interpretation and the decisions,  whether or not to quash the original acquittal or mount a fresh prosecution, are made by members of the  elite who are often associated with politicians.  For example, the present DPP,  Keir Starmer, is a member of the Labour Party (he was named after Keir Hardie) and was  appointed by a Labour government.   Consequently , there is also a  “Who shall guard the guards” element to fret over.    But I shall leave that  question  to the judgement of the reader. What I shall go into in some detail is the question of the “New and compelling evidence” on which the re-trial was based.

The new forensic evidence

This consists of a minute blood stain identified as Lawrence’s blood, two human hairs of 1mm and 2mm  respectively (which could only be tested for maternal DNA because the hairs had no root) and a small amount of fibre identified as coming from Lawrence’s clothes which was found on clothing taken from  the defendants’ homes after the murder.   Technology was not advanced enough in 1993 to have extracted a complete DNA profile from the blood stain, but that is irrelevant because, according to media reports,  the blood stain was not spotted in 1993. The stain was tiny but not invisible being 0.25mm by 0.5mm (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081758/Stephen-Lawrence-verdict-The-evidence-convicted-David-Norris-Gary-Dobson.html).  

In the 1990s two separate forensic examinations were made of the clothes and other items gathered by the police in 1993 as possible evidence.  The first was conducted by Adam Wain  who was working with the police. The second  by Dr Angela Gallop who acted for the Lawrence family in 1995 when the private prosecution was being prepared.  Both found blood and textile fibres; both came to the same conclusions: that there was too little blood to test and  the connection between Lawrence and any of the suspects’  clothing was thin,  in Dr Gallop’s words  “Even in combination these fibres provide only very weak evidence of any association between Lawrence’s and Dobson’s clothing.” (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-25.htm – this is section 25 of the Macpherson Report)

But there were  fibres which had some similarity with the garments worn by Dobson and Lawrence:

“ 25.7 In summary, the conclusions of Mr Wain were really as follows: First, amongst the extraneous fibres removed from the bag from the right hand were two brown wool fibres that had the same microscopic and colour characteristics as those from Mr Dobson’s cardigan. One of these had similar dye components as those from the cardigan. The other one was too small for dye testing. 

Also he found that one grey cotton fibre from Stephen Lawrence’s jacket had the same microscopic characteristics as fibres from Mr Dobson’s jacket. That discovery was made in June 1994. Also a single white polyester fibre found in the bag from Stephen Lawrence’s right hand had the same microscopic characteristics as those from Mr Dobson’s jacket. As that fibre was white no further relevant tests could be carried out.”

25.8 The report of Mr Wain continued as follows … “Evaluation conclusions … where fibres are found to match the component fibres of a garment, this does not mean that they necessarily came from that garment. They could have come from another garment of the same type or another source of similar fibres. Therefore, in my opinion, there is weak support for the assertion that the two brown wool fibres recovered from the bag that was covering Stephen Lawrence’s right hand came from an exhibit ASR/2, namely a cardigan recovered from Dobson’s home”, and that, “there is very weak support for the assertion that the single grey cotton and white polyester fibres that were recovered from Lawrence’s jacket and right hand bag came from item LA/5, namely a jacket found at Dobson’s home.” (Ibid)

The importance of these early findings on the fibres are twofold: (1) it shows that extensive searches for fibres and their extended  testing was undertaken when the evidence was fresh and less likely to be contaminated (2) that  similarity of fibre was weak evidence of  where the fibre came from.

It is rather difficult to see how two highly experienced forensic scientists could have missed the fibres which were presented as evidence in the trial just concluded.  More to the point, even if they did miss them,  why are these putatively new  fibres any more potent as evidence now than those  found and tested in between 1993-1995? There would seem to be no ready answer to that because a fibre is just a fibre, a dye is just a dye.  There has not been  technological advance which will identify the  particular garment from which a fibre has come.

Even if there was other evidence, forensic or otherwise,  the new  fibre evidence  would add little to it simply because of its uncertainty.  If there was a great deal of evidence which pointed to Dobson and Norris being involved with the killing it might add a small  circumstantial something  but that is all. But there was not a great mass of strong evidence in this trial. The two hairs  found on Norris’ clothing could have been simple contamination as the evidence bags nestled together, unwitting transferred during other tests or even transferred by the officers initially  collecting evidence who also visited the Lawrence home.  It is worth adding that the clothes from which fibres were taken were not  collected for several weeks after the murder and the police themselves thought it unlikely that any fibres  from Lawrence would have been left on the clothes after that time(http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-25.htm) .

The only really  important new evidence put forward was the microscopic blood sample on Dobson’s jacket collar (http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16141534) and the two hairs.   The fibre and hair evidence really added nothing to this. The DNA evidence either stood or fell on its own merits. As  there was no blood evidence against Norris (only inconclusive  fibres and the two tiny hairs). He should have been acquitted because there was no meaningful evidence against him.

The blood evidence against Dobson presents more complex problems.   The defence did not question the blood  DNA analysis. Instead they attacked its veracity as evidence by claiming contamination.  There were solid grounds for doing this.   The blood stain was not seen  by the two forensic scientists who had examined the jacket in the 1990s. The evidence  had been stored for 18 years.  The clothes were stored in paper  evidence bags sealed only with sellotape – the original forensic scientist  Adam Wain warned of the  dangers of contamination as the bags and sellotape seals degraded (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2011/11/24/stephen-lawrence-murder-trial-forensic-expert-had-concerns-about-contamination-of-evidence-old-bailey-hears-86908-23585745)  Evidence bags containing Lawrence’s clothes and effects were stored with those containing the Dobson and Norris evidence.   Detective Sergeant John Bevan and Detective Constable Linda Holden, two of the officers involved in the initial investigation,  visited the Lawrence home as well as taking raids on the suspects homes (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8908314/Officers-may-have-contaminated-Stephen-Lawrence-evidence.html).  An officer on the case  DC Paul Steed  deliberately  sabotaged his records relating to the forensic  evidence (http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2011/12/09/stephen-lawrence-trial_n_1139000.html . A forensic worker Yvonne Turner  mislabelled evidence in 1993, including the garments at issue in the Dobson/Norris trial (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/23/stephen-lawrence-trial-evidence-mislabelled)  It is also true that contamination of forensic evidence is a not uncommon problem in many cases which heavily rely on it.  (http://www.impactnottingham.com/2012/01/can-we-really-rely-on-forensic-science/).

Having said all that there is the question of how the blood soaked into the Dobson jacket collar. Three other flakes of blood which tested as being that of Lawrence were found loose in the evidence bag, although again these had been missed in the earlier forensic examination.  They could plausibly have been in the bag as  the result of contamination by a simple mechanical transfer of material.  Dobson’s defence rested on the fact that the blood on the collar could have been caused by the liquid with which the jacket was sprayed to test for saliva. This could have softened another scrap of dried blood which allowed the blood to soak into the collar.

The prosecution brought Rosalyn Hammond as an expert forensic witness to say this was “practically impossible” (http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2011/12/08/stephen-lawrence-murder-trial-contamination-not-to-blame-for-bloodstain-on-accused-s-jacket-says-expert-86908-23620646/).   Prosecuting counsel in his final speech to the jury said the blood on the collar could not “realistically be caused by contamination”. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16271736). Note that neither the witness or the prosecutor say it was actually  impossible. In fact, they used  the sort of phrases that people use when they are trying to paper over the cracks in an argument. Nor  is the spraying for saliva the only plausible way the blood could have got onto the collar. For example, someone opening the bag which had been contaminated with loose tiny flakes of blood could have had water or another liquid on their hands and without knowing it transferred both blood and liquid to the Dobson jacket.  It is also rather curious that only a tiny amount of blood would have soaked into  the Dobson jacket if it had been transferred during the attack or conceivably after the attack with blood from the knife or hands.  The fact that the blood was on the collar makes it even less probable because staining elsewhere – the sleeve or front of jacket would have been more likely  than the collar, especially if the blood was transferred in the attack. It should also be remembered that the blood stain and the three other loose flakes in the evidence bag were missed by both forensic investigations in the 1990s.

There are further strong circumstantial reasons to doubt the blood sample. Much was made in the Macpherson report of the failure to arrest any of the suspects for two weeks  after the killing and the fact that on two occasions before any arrests were made Dobson and Jamie Acourt  were seen leaving their homes carrying black plastic refuse sacks which might have contained items of clothing (http://www.archive.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/sli-18.htm).  The Macpherson report concluded that  this might have been clothes worn at the killing which were being disposed of to destroy any potential forensic evidence, a rather large assumption to say the least.   But If that was indeed the case why would they have kept any of the clothes? Common sense would have told anyone who had been involved in the killing to get rid of everything. . In  addition,  it should be remembered that David Norris’ father Clifford was a heavyweight villain who reputedly ran the drugs trade in South London at that time.  If he knew  his son and others had been involved with the murder  it is difficult to believe he would not have told his son  to make sure all those involved got  rid of any clothing or anything else they were carrying or wearing in case  these  provided  forensic evidence.

Exactly how the Court of Appeal and the DPP concluded this was “New and compelling evidence” I am at a loss to understand.   As for the jury, the judge warned them they had to accept the forensic evidence as being beyond reasonable doubt before moving to the question of whether Dobson and Norris were guilty.   Whether the jury understood the full ramifications and complexity of the forensic evidence we shall never know, but it is difficult to see how they could have met the steep test of “beyond a reasonable doubt”  on any rational basis.

The viciousness of the  white liberal

Nothing I have written is meant to suggest  that Dobson and Norris (or the other suspects) are  admirable human beings.  However, it is interesting to see the hypocrisy and viciousness of   modern day liberals as they respond to this case.

If this had been black defendants from similar backgrounds to those of the five accused the mainstream media would have been full of broadcasts and articles saying their environment was responsible for their misbehaviour, how disadvantaged they were and so on.    Nor has any meaningful  allowance has been  made by the mainstream media for the youth of  Dobson (17) and Norris (16) at the time of the attack or the fact that Norris had a father who was a serious criminal. It should also be borne in mind that the suspects lived in an area of heavy non-white immigration, unlike the regulation issue white liberal who,  curiously you may think for those putative worshippers of diversity, so often manage to  arrange their affairs so that they live in very white worlds.

As they are white working class men,   white liberals (and their black and Asian auxiliaries) feel free to casually vilify them in the crudest manner which demolishes any pretence they have to actually believing in the “liberal internationalist, be understanding, don’t blame anyone”  credo they continuously promote.

That bastion of liberal sanctimony the Guardian greeted the convictions with the tabloid worthy headline Monsters in the dock (http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2012/jan/06/1?newsfeed=true) while the Daily Telegraph from supposedly the other side of the political spectrum  thought it relevant to comment on the physical appearance of the three members of the original five suspects not charged in this trial – The Acourt brothers and Luke Knight – and to sneer at the difficulties which the all but Jamie Acourt have experienced since the Lawrence murder (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8974918/Stephen-Lawrence-murder-Jamie-Acourt-Neil-Acourt-and-Luke-Knight-profiles.html).

The vindictiveness of the liberal can be seen in their howling for longer sentences for Dobson and Norris – despite the fact that they were aged 17 and 16 at the time of the murder –  and the willingness of those with power to pander to the public cries. The Attorney-General  – a politician in the British government – has already agreed to review the sentences to see if they are “unduly lenient”  because one or more “members of the public” have requested that he do so  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8994957/Stephen-Lawrence-murder-Attorney-General-to-review-sentences.html)

It might be thought that the liberal dominated media would at least have been disturbed by the diluting of double jeopardy, but with a few honourable exceptions such as Peter Hitchens  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2083636/Stephen-Lawrence-murder-I-dont-believe-man-stand-trial-twice-crime.html#ixzz1irbOpuHd) there has been a ghastly silence.

The unpleasant truth (for liberals) is that modern liberals, far from being interested in truth and fairness and  treating all human beings alike, are just like every other human being: they favour those they approve of and attack those they deem beyond the Pale.  In fact, liberals today are more likely to behave viciously towards those of whom they disapprove than the general run of Britons because they are rigid ideologues and like all ideologues they carry their beliefs to any length of sinister absurdity.

Shades of the Barry George conviction

When Barry George was convicted  of the murder of the  television presenter Jill Dando in 2001 I  wrote a pamphlet for the Libertarian Alliance entitled  Barry George and the celebrity effect  [http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/barry-george-and-the-celebrity-effect/ ]. In it I argued  that the evidence  was very weak and entirely circumstantial and the conviction palpably wrong.   The prosecution case, like that in the Dobson/Norris trial, also rested on dubious  forensic evidence.

I attributed the jury’s willingness to convict on such feeble evidence  to Dando’s  celebrity and the massive amount of irrelevant character assignation of George which occurred during the trial, character assassination which  was then gleefully amplified  by the media. Barry George was acquitted on appeal in 2008 when the weakness of the case against him was finally officially recognised.

Something similar seems to have  happened in the case of Dobson and Norris.   The police, the DPP, the  Court of Appeal  had obvious reason not to bring the case to trial or, in the case of the jury, to reach a verdict of guilty. Dobson should not have tried again because of the breach of double jeopardy and even under the new rules on second trials after an acquittal,  neither Dobson nor Norris should have been retried because of the patent impossibility that they would get a fair trial because of all that had occurred in the previous 18 years.  In addition, the new forensic  evidence was seriously compromised by the very real risk of contamination. This should have caused the case to fail to meet the “new and compelling” criteria for a new trial. The jury should have come to a not guilty verdict because clearly the “beyond a reasonable doubt”  standard was not met because of the risk of contamination.   The only plausible explanation for all of these things not happening is the creation by the media, politicians and interest groups of an atmosphere in which none of those involved in the process from gathering evidence to giving a verdict felt it possible to do anything other than allow the process of re-trial to proceed.

It is not necessary for those involved to have consciously made a decision not to do what circumstances and facts said they should do. All that it required is for those involved to have been in effect brainwashed by the coverage of the Lawrence case over 18 years and the ever increasing grip which  “antiracist” propaganda has on Britain which makes many white Britons believe that in some curious way whites are always in the wrong when black complaints of abuse by whites are involved.

This was a political trial pure and simple.  The desire for a conviction became part of the “anti-racist” crusade which the murder generated.  No expense has been spared  with an estimated £50 million having been spent on it  (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081901/Stephen-Lawrence-trial-Police-bugged- killers-homes-cars-pubs.htm). At its height 120 officers were employed on the case full time (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2081901/Stephen-Lawrence-trial-Police-bugged-killers-homes-cars-pubs.html). Even today there are 25 officers doing the same and suggestions that they should be re-deployed to other duties is causing media uproar.  The squad may well continue, viz.: ‘ Scotland Yard has denied reports that the team investigating the murder of Stephen Lawrence is being disbanded but it admitted the case is currently “dormant”’. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-16435790)

Compare the Lawrence case with the investigation of  the murder of a fifteen year old white boy Richard Everitt by Asians in 1994. (http://englandcalling.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-deaths-of-richard-everitt-and-stephen-lawrence-compare-and-contrast/). One person was convicted of the murder  and released after 11 years. Upwards of ten were in the gang which killed him who went looking for a white boy to attack. Unlike the Lawrence case there has been no sustained  median campaign to bring the others to justice, no Public Inquiry like that of Macpherson, no ongoing massive police  squad devoted to a continuing investigation, no outcry by the media at the release of the convicted killer after only 11 years.  This was a murder which the British elite wished to sweep under the carpet as quickly as possible.  The double standards of the British elite are howlingly obvious and disturbing.  The British public can see what is happening and are becoming increasingly disenchanted with the “white, wrong; black,  right”  policies and mentality of those with power and influence in this country. That could be the ultimate legacy of the Stephen Lawrence circus: the straw which broke the grip of the “antiracist” multicultural propagandists on British life.

Stephen Lawrence’s murder was just that, a murder.  It was as grave a crime as any other murder arising from the similar circumstances of a gang attack. No more, no less.

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Comments

  • Florian Geyer (@FlorianGeyerKDF)  On January 9, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    A well written, interesting and thoroughly thought provoking article. I had always doubted whether it was possible for the defendants in this case to receive anything approaching a fair trial due to the ridiculous media circus surrounding it. This was without doubt one of the most unfair trials in British legal history. In any other circumstances other than a hate crime, the defendants would have walked free.

    As a footnote, I find it impossible to believe that the Guardian readership would have stood for the two years of hidden camera character assassination (without a single reference to the crime being investigated in all those hours of footage) being admissible as evidence if the defendants had been young black men.

  • P Dove  On January 16, 2012 at 2:05 am

    At last a voice of reason stands alone among a sea of verocious rhetorical writing by the media circus which follows this case.

  • Henry Bradell  On January 20, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    There certainly seems no possiblity a fair trial could be held in this case but you ruin your point by seeming to regard racism as something non-existent or trivial. The difference between peoples attitudes to racism in Britain in the mid-nineties and now is huge and part of reason is the way that bodies like the police have been forced to look at how they behave.

    Anyone who can say, “within the Inquiry frequent interruption occurred in the public galleries, especially when the police were giving evidence” as if that was a
    problem clearly knows nothing about the way the police operate. The Met has been taken to task over racism and that is just the start of what needs to be done to turn it into an organ of the people instead of a institution that looks after its members and perverts the law it is supposed to uphold.

  • Trevor  On February 6, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Compelling article. Good to read something other than the diatribe presented by the establishment/ media.
    Why Dobson/ Norris lawyers apparently did not appeal that it was impossible for their clients to have a fair trial, is amazing, . These people were tried and found guilty long ago by the media.
    About the “secret video” made by the police, as was pointed out in the article QUOTE “It has been suggested that those involved suspected or even knew they were being bugged, and deliberately went over the top with their language to taunt the police. But there is no hard evidence that this is the case”
    I am sure I saw quite recently, a part of the police’s secret video showing one of the defendants saying about the surveillance “what a waste of taxpayers money it was”
    There seemed no doubt that the defendants were aware of being filmed.
    I believe also, this may have been withheld from the jury.
    I would appreciate it if anyone could confirm or deny that this was the case, as I have searched the internet for confimation of this and can’t find anything.

  • Emlyn Welsh  On February 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    On 14th November 2011, the very same day that Dobson and Norris’s trial began, I made an FOI request to the Met police about certain tape recorded material which they deliberately and illegally kept hidden from the two defendants’ solicitors. I still haven’t received a satisfactory response to my request. Please support me by “following” the request. You can see the details here:

    http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/the_murder_of_stephen_lawrence#outgoing-163945

    It is now almost two months since the request was submitted. So much for twenty working days !!

    • francis  On March 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      Hi,

      I have looked at your request and info. However the powers will say that you cannot request information behalf of a third party without their express written agreement.

      Have a look at my post and links I have found at the murder was probably committed by two Large Black people, all known to Stephen Lawrence and the main witness.

      Several anonymous witnesses wrote down the names, so I think the murder was planned and get others in trouble.

  • francis  On March 19, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Well according to an islamic forum, the killers were black and NOT white as reported. Apparently a German took photos of the incident, and the attackers were BLACK and not white. It appears that the witnesses were too frightened to report the correct ethnic identity of the attackers. Here’s the link:-

    http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f18/stephen-lawrence-murder-dobson-norris-found-guilty-54792/index2.html

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