Stephen Lawrence detectives probed for misconduct over bungled investigation into teenager’s murder


TWO former Scotland Yard detectives have been probed for alleged misconduct while working on the bungled investigation into the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Retired Detective Superintendent Ian Crampton, who oversaw the first three days of the investigation, and retired Detective Chief Superintendent William Ilsley, who supervised him, were questioned this week over claims they committed criminal offences in their handling of the case.

PA:Press Association

Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in 1993[/caption]

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Retired Detective Superintendent Ian Crampton, who oversaw the first three days of the investigation, was questioned over alleged misconduct[/caption]

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Retired Detective Chief Superintendent William Ilsley, who supervised Crampton, was also questioned[/caption]

The revelation follows a multi-million-pound investigation into police corruption launched by the National Crime Agency (NCA) in 2015.

The probe looked into why no arrests were made in the case for two weeks, despite local residents having given the names of Lawrence’s killers to police within days of his murder.

Stephen Lawrence was a black British 18-year-old who was stabbed to death in a racially-motivated attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham, southeast London in 1993.

No one was brought to justice for his murder until 2012, when Gary Dobson and David Norris, two of the original five suspects, were both found guilty and given the equivalent of life sentences.

A public inquiry in 1998 concluded that the police force had been institutionally racist, and that that had negatively impacted their handling of the case.

Two other senior officers involved in the original investigation – retired Detective Superintendent Brian Weeden and retired Detective Inspector Ben Bullock – are also due to be questioned under caution for alleged misconduct in a public office in the coming weeks.

A file on the misconduct allegations is expected to be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which will decide whether charges should be brought.

All four former policemen deny having committing any offences.

Stephen’s parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, have campaigned tirelessly for justice since their son’s murder.

Baroness Lawrence, who was appointed to the House of Lords in 2013, said last night: “I am pleased that finally after so many years, senior police officers who were involved in investigating Stephen’s murder are being put under scrutiny and questioned about their conduct.

“It is high time that someone is held accountable for what happened.”

Since launching its inquiry in 2015, the NCA has sought to establish whether corruption in the police force shielded the Lawrence murder suspects, who as well as Dobson and Norris included Luke Knight and brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt.

In April, it was revealed that lawyers for the five had received a total of £813,384 in legal aid since 1993, while Lawrence’s parents were denied legal aid when they tried to launch a private prosecution in 1994.

According to reports, there is no evidence to suggest that the killers were protected by corrupt officers, but possible offences of misconduct in public office have been identified.

The Police Superintendents’ Association said: “We are surprised and disappointed that our retired members are once again being asked to provide information relating to this case.

“The association hopes that it will be concluded as quickly as possible.”

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Retired Detective Inspector Ben Bullock will be questioned in the coming weeks[/caption]

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Retired Detective Superintendent Brian Weeden will also be questioned[/caption]

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