Video: Two for trial in teen's 1993 racist killing
Published 19/05/2011 | 05:00
Two men are to face trial for the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence after new scientific evidence was uncovered.
Gary Dobson (35) and David Norris (34) are due to go before an Old Bailey jury in November accused of the "calamitous" crime.
Senior judges ruled that the trial could go ahead even though Mr Dobson had been acquitted following a 1996 private prosecution by the Lawrence family.
Stephen's parents Neville and Doreen Lawrence were at the Court of Appeal to hear the decision. Mrs Lawrence said: "Perhaps somewhere down the line we will finally get justice for him."
Mr Norris was the only one of the two defendants in court.
Mr Lawrence, an 18-year-old A-level student, was stabbed to death in Eltham, south east London, in April 1993. "The murder of Stephen Lawrence, a young black man of great promise, targeted and killed by a group of white youths just because of the colour of his skin, was indeed a calamitous crime," said the lord chief justice.
Mr Dobson had been cleared of murder at the 1996 trial, along with Luke Knight and Neil Acourt, after purported identification evidence was ruled inadmissible.
But Mr Dobson was charged with the crime again, along with Mr Norris, last September, although it could not be reported at the time for legal reasons.
The judges said the prosecution application to quash Mr Dobson's acquittal was based on new scientific evidence relating to a grey bomber jacket and a multicoloured cardigan which it was said "closely links" Mr Dobson to the attack.
"If reliable, the new scientific evidence would place Dobson in a very close proximity to Stephen Lawrence at the moment of and in the immediate aftermath of the attack," they said.
Mr Norris is due to appear at the Old Bailey on July 1 for a plea and case management hearing, while Mr Dobson will also be in court in the next two months.