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Stephen murder killed our marriage

The father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence has described how his family was torn apart by his son's death.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Neville Lawrence said the murder of 18-year-old Stephen in 1993 spelled the end of his marriage to Doreen, which had until then been a "normal, loving relationship".

He told the newspaper: "Our world began falling apart from the moment the hospital staff told us our son had died.

"For some reason that I've tried to understand - and I still don't - we couldn't reach out to one another. We stayed together for another six years, but from that day we never physically touched one another again."

Despite their long campaign for justice for their son, which involved much group discussion, Mr Lawrence said he and his wife would discuss "absolutely nothing" as a couple.

He told the newspaper: "You know, in 18 years, me and Doreen have still never once talked about what happened to Stephen that night. About how and why he died and how it affected us."

Gary Dobson, 36, who is already serving a five-year sentence for drug-dealing, was sentenced to at least 15 years and two months at the Old Bailey on Wednesday for the murder. David Norris, 35, was given a minimum of 14 years and three months for the murder, which the judge said was a "terrible and evil crime".

Britain's top law officer is reviewing claims that jail terms for the two men are "unduly lenient". Several formal requests to the Attorney General have been made since an Old Bailey trial judge suggested he would increase their minimum sentences if the law allowed.

The development came as police assessed fresh information in efforts to hunt down other suspects in the 1993 racist murder.

Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who has been the senior officer in the case for a number of years, has said officers would be visiting Dobson and Norris in prison to see whether they would be willing to assist the inquiry and said he remained "optimistic" about further progress being made in the case.

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