5 Jan 2012

Pair jailed for life for racist murder in Britain

10:01 am on 5 January 2012

A court in London has jailed two white men for the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993 - a crime which the judge said had scarred the nation.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, are the first people convicted over the fatal attack on Mr Lawrence by a group of white young men near a bus stop in Eltham on 22 April 1993.

Dobson will serve a minimum of 15 years and two months, while Norris 14 years and three months, the BBC reports.

The pair were sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday under guidelines in place at the time of the attack and as juveniles because both had been under 18.

Stephen Lawrence's mother, Doreen Lawrence, said while the sentences were low, she realised Justice Treacy's hands were tied because the men were juveniles at the time of the murder.

Neville Lawrence said he hoped the pair jailed would now turn in the other members of the gang who stabbed his son.

A public inquiry into the Lawrence case declared the police institutionally racist and led to changes in the law and British policing.

Justice Treacy described the crime as a "murder which scarred the conscience of the nation".

Scientists found a tiny bloodstain on Dobson's jacket that could only have come from Stephen Lawrence and a single hair belonging to the teenager was found on Norris's jeans.

The material was discovered using advanced techniques that were not available to scientists at the time of the original case.