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Stephen Lawrence murder: two guilty

The parents of Stephen Lawrence have expressed joy and relief after two men were convicted of his murder nearly 19 years after he was stabbed to death.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were both found guilty of murder by a jury at the Old Bailey.

They will be sentenced as juveniles when their terms are handed down on Wednesday because of their ages at the time of the murder.

Mr Lawrence died in a racist attack by a gang of white youths in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993.

Standing outside the Old Bailey with her surviving son Stuart, Doreen Lawrence said her relief at the verdict was mixed with anger that it had taken the police so long to get a prosecution. Neville Lawrence said he could not rest until all his son's attackers were caught.

The Metropolitan Police faced fierce criticism of the original investigation into Mr Lawrence's death. A public inquiry branded the force institutionally racist and claims were made by Mr and Mrs Lawrence's lawyers that some officers were influenced by Norris' former drugs baron father.

Acting Deputy Commissioner for the Met Cressida Dick said the couple's unstinting campaign to get justice for their son "contributed to major changes within policing, the law and society as a whole".

The breakthrough in the investigation came when a cold case team of forensic scientists were called in. They found tiny traces of blood, hair and fibres on clothing seized from the homes of Dobson and Norris.

The defence had claimed that the material got there via contamination, but this was rejected by the jury. As they were led away, Dobson told the jury: "You have condemned an innocent man here. I hope you can live with yourselves."

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "In the 19 years since his murder, Stephen Lawrence's family has fought tirelessly for justice. This verdict cannot ease the pain of losing a son but for Doreen and Neville Lawrence, I hope that it brings at least some comfort after their years of struggle."


From Belfast Telegraph