Who killed Stephen Lawrence? The murder 'That Changed A Nation' is explored in a new BBC One documentary which continues tonight.
The three-part documentary, from critically-acclaimed filmmakers Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees, and directed by James Rogan, plunges viewers into the story of Britain’s most notorious racially-motivated murder.
25 years ago, on 22 April, a black teenager, Stephen Lawrence was murdered at a bus stop by a group of white youths in an unprovoked attack. Failures in the police investigation meant the killers walked free. Stephen’s parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence took up the fight for justice for their murdered son.
The three part series is the definitive account of a loving family, and a grieving mother, who simply would not take no for an answer, and who took on the establishment and forced it to change.
The series charts 25 years of Doreen Lawrence’s struggle for justice through all its twists and turns; the police investigations, dramatic interventions from Nelson Mandela and the Daily Mail, revelations of institutional racism in the police and suspicions of corruption, bringing us right up to the present day in a case that remains active, with many questions still unanswered.
It is told through the eyes of the people who have been directly involved, from the family (Doreen and Neville Lawrence) and Stephen’s friend who was with him on the night (Duwayne Brooks) to the police (former Police Commissioner Lord Paul Condon and Police Commissioner Cressida Dick) and politicians (Jack Straw and Theresa May).
At the heart of the series is Stephen, the promising and much-loved 18-year-old, who was killed because of the colour of his skin. Never-before-seen footage and photos of Stephen, along with testimony from his family, friends and neighbours help to capture for the first time the devastating tragedy of that fateful night 22 April 1993.
In 2012, two men - Gary Dobson and David Norris - were eventually found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence and sentenced to at least 14 years in jail.
In Episode two, a second police investigation captures shocking surveillance footage of the racism of the gang alleged to have killed Stephen. With help from their lawyer Imran Khan, Doreen and Neville Lawrence launch the first private murder prosecution in 150 years. When it collapses, questions about the failure of the first police investigation mount. The Daily Mail stages a dramatic intervention. A public inquiry shines an uncomfortable light on the police and leads to some devastating revelations.
This episode includes interviews with Paul Dacre - Daily Mail editor, Imran Khan QC - Lawrence family lawyer, Michael Mansfield QC - Lawrence barrister at the time and former Home Secretary Jack Straw.
Stephen: The Murder That Changed A Nation airs Wednesday 18 April 9.00pm-10.00pm.