Brit Dee, Contributor
The men convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence have today lost their first appeal bid.
Whilst David Norris and Gary Dobson can still renew their applications before judges sitting at the appeal court, a single judge today rejected their first appeals after ‘consideration of the papers’.
Norris and Dobson were given life sentences in January of 14 years and three months, and 15 years, for the racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993.
In a previous article we detailed how the prosecution of Gary Dobson was only possible after a fundamental change in the ancient common law of ‘double jeopardy’, in which an accused, once acquitted, could never be tried for the same crime again.
Dobson had already been acquitted of murder during a private prosecution brought by Stephen Lawrence’s family in 1994, after a judge threw out the case due to the unreliability of a key witness’s evidence.
Dobson’s and Norris’s convictions in January were based entirely on new forensic evidence recovered by LGC Forensics many years after the crime – despite serious concerns about the credibility of that very evidence.
Items of clothing from both the accused and Stephen Lawrence were stored together, and as the protective packaging was not designed to last, the tape sealing the packages had lost its stickiness. The defence argued that blood flakes, fibres and hairs could have entered the packages due to this deteriorated packaging. Such fibres were likely to be in abundance in the packages containing Stephen Lawrence’s clothing, due to an accident and emergency nurse having cut off his clothes, apparently releasing a “shower” of material.
The recent trial’s jury were even directed by judge Justice Treacy to acquit Dobson and Norris, unless they could be sure that scientific evidence allegedly tying them to the murder scene was not the result of contamination.
In March, the reliability of evidence provided by LGC Forensics was cast further into doubt, after a rape case collapsed due to forensic errors made by LGC. Evidence against the accused had become seriously contaminated during the testing process at LGC’s labs, prompting a ‘senior source’ interviewed by The Guardian to warn that:
Potentially this has national implications. Hundreds of cases will have to be reviewed. We have no idea what the parameters will have to be. It’s serious – it’s dealing with the credibility of the system.
LGC Forensics were again criticised during the recent inquest into the bizarre death of Gareth Williams, the MI6 worker found padlocked inside a sports holdall in the bath of his London flat in August 2010.
During an interim hearing prior to the inquest it was revealed that key DNA evidence, thought to be from someone involved in Mr Williams’ death and seen as the strongest lead in the case, actually belonged to one of the forensics officers who had worked at the scene.
A typographical error by a worker at the forensics firm LGC meant a numerical code for the DNA sample had been wrongly fed into a computer, meaning the sample was marked as unidentified.
LGC’s error was heavily criticised by Gareth Williams‘ family and legal team, with Detective Chief Inspector Jackie Sebire describing the mistake as both “financially and emotionally costly”. Scotland Yard subsequently ordered a review of the forensic evidence used in the case, such was the concern over mistakes made by LGC.
As there are so many justifiable concerns over the evidence used to convict Gary Dobson and David Norris, the rejection of their first appeal bid raises disturbing questions about the British justice system.
Considering the sustained demonisation campaign waged by the political establishment and media against the men – seriously prejudicing any case against them over a period of nearly 20 years – today’s decision was, however, sadly predictable.
The controlled corporate media are unlikely to cover doubts over Gary Dobson’s and David Norris’s convictions, so please help support an appeal by sharing and reposting this article.
This article first appeared at ResistRadio.com
Brit Dee’s ResistRadio.com is an independent media website approaching global news, politics and conspiracy theory from a radical, but critical and rational perspective.