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Met feared Stephen Lawrence probe officer was corrupt

By Michael Gillard and Laurie Flynn

The failure of the original hunt for the killers of Stephen Lawrence will come under fresh scrutiny today following the emergence of secret Scotland Yard files which reveal police concerns about one of the officers involved in the inquiry.

The police intelligence reports outline extensive allegations of corruption against John Davidson, a lead detective investigating the racist murder. The files can be made public following the convictions in January, 19 years after the event, of Gary Dobson (36) and David Norris (35).

Details of the officer's alleged criminality were held back from the public and the Lawrence family's legal team.

The Lawrence family last night demanded that the Metropolitan Police explain why it never showed them the files or revealed their existence.

Doreen Lawrence said: “Had we known even a scintilla of this in the last 18 years, we would have been shouting it from the rafters.”

The Lawrence family has long suspected that corruption played a part in the Met's failure to arrest Dobson, Norris and three other members of a white gang, despite dozens of people coming forward to name them within days of the 1993 fatal stabbing in south-east London.

There have been numerous Met internal inquiries and an inquiry by the police watchdog. But vital facts relevant to the Lawrence case have not been made public. The evidence reveals that:

e Det Sgt John Davidson, who interviewed key Lawrence suspects and witnesses within days of the stabbing, was a “major player” in a ring of bent detectives.

e Davidson had corrupt relations with informants and dealt in class A drugs

Davidson, who denies the claims, never faced criminal charges and was allowed to retire on ill health grounds.

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