Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Lawrence mother to address MPs

The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence is to appear before MPs in the wake of claims police tried to smear her family.

Doreen Lawrence will sit before the Home Affairs Select Committee alongside her lawyer Imran Khan on Wednesday.

Claims have been made by former undercover officer Peter Francis that attempts were made to find information to smear the Lawrence family following Stephen's murder in April 1993.

Two existing inquiries are to examine the claims - a police investigation into the activities of undercover officers and another led by Mark Ellison QC, who will also appear before the committee on Wednesday, into allegations of corruption in the original investigation into Stephen's murder.

Eighteen-year-old Stephen was waiting for a bus with friend Duwayne Brooks when he was murdered by racists in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.

Mr Francis, who worked with Scotland Yard's former Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), spoke out about tactics that he said were used by the secretive unit in the 1980s and 1990s.

Following those claims, former West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Sir Norman Bettison was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) amid fears officers tried to discredit members of Stephen Lawrence's family.

Greater Manchester Police has also referred itself to the IPCC over an allegation its Special Branch sent a memo to all divisions seeking information on ''groups or individuals'' expected to attend the Manchester-based Macpherson inquiry into the police handling of the Lawrence murder case.

Mrs Lawrence said the revelations made her feel ''sick to the stomach'' and called for a public inquiry into the allegations.

Home Secretary Theresa May said earlier this week that the claims could be examined by the two existing inquiries.

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