Jurors told 'start with clean slate' in Stephen Lawrence murder trial
Published 15/11/2011 | 05:00
Eighteen years after the killing of Stephen Lawrence, potential jurors in the trial of two men accused of murdering the black teenager were warned that they must "start with a clean slate".
Mr Justice Treacy ordered the 24 men and women who may try one of the most notorious cases in British legal history to ignore everything but the evidence that they would hear in court.
Mr Lawrence was 18 when he was stabbed to death in April 1993 as he waited for a bus in Eltham, south London. His death led to accusations of police incompetence.
Yesterday his parents Neville and Doreen Lawrence, who have fought for almost two decades for justice for their son, appeared at the Old Bailey court at the start of the trial. Just feet away Gary Dobson (36) and David Norris (35) sat in the dock. Both deny murdering the student.
Mr Justice Treacy warned the potential jurors that they would be dealing with a case that had generated a great deal of debate over the years: "There have been a series of police investigations and there have been criticisms of the way the police went about their task, particularly in the early years," he said.
He explained that the prosecution case would largely be based on scientific evidence which had emerged in a recent reinvestigation.