Lawyer for Stephen Lawrence’s mother writes to Met over ‘corrupt’ officer claims

 (PA Media)
(PA Media)

A lawyer representing the mother of Stephen Lawrence has demanded answers from the Metropolitan Police following allegations a senior officer involved in her son’s murder case was corrupt.

Mr Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack by a group in south-east London in 1993.

The BBC has reported that a secret Met Police report from 2000 concluded Ray Adams, a former Scotland Yard commander in the section of the force responsible for the murder investigation, was corrupt.

Among the allegations are that Mr Adams was cleared by a police corruption probe in the 1980s following false evidence given by a man linked to the family of one of Mr Lawrence’s killers.

Mr Adams was questioned about corruption during the 1998 Macpherson inquiry into Mr Lawrence’s death, but the report and its findings were not released.

The inquiry said it had not seen evidence that Mr Adams was involved in trying to hold back the murder investigation.

Imran Khan KC, who represents Mr Lawrence’s mother Baroness Doreen Lawrence, told the PA news agency he has written to Scotland Yard to ask when it knew about the information, why it has not been mentioned, and what steps are being taken.

Mr Khan told the BBC the report about Mr Adams, 81, who denies any wrongdoing, was “dramatic, disturbing and shocking”.

The lawyer said he wants the Met to “apologise for not telling Baroness Lawrence and her family about what they knew, and I want them to apologise to Sir William Macpherson’s inquiry and to admit that they misled that inquiry”.

Mr Lawrence was murdered by a gang of racists in Eltham, south-east London, in April 1993, as he ran to catch a bus with his friend Duwayne Brooks.

Only two of his killers – Gary Dobson and David Norris – have ever been brought to justice.

The original investigation into his death was hampered by institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police, and claims that corrupt officers had sought to protect Norris, whose father Clifford Norris was a notorious drug dealer.

The Metropolitan Police said: “A number of the allegations made by the BBC are relevant to Operation Probitas – a six-year IOPC (Independent Office for Police Conduct) investigation into whether corruption played a part in the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the attack on Duwayne Brooks.

“In 2021, the IOPC referred a file to the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), who considered criminal charges against four officers involved in the early stages of the investigation of Stephen’s murder. Former Commander Ray Adams was not one of these officers.

“Earlier this year the CPS announced their decision that none of the officers should face further action. This is now subject to a victim’s right to review and, as such, the full Operation Probitas report has not been published by the IOPC. It would therefore be inappropriate for us to discuss the content of that report at this time.

“The IOPC has also carried out a separate inquiry into whether in 1998, senior officers in the MPS did not disclose all relevant information about allegations of corruption to the Macpherson Inquiry. This inquiry may also have relevance to the allegations referenced in the BBC’s report.

“The IOPC found no indication that any officer may have committed a criminal offence.

“The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards will be writing to the BBC to request access to any material in their possession that supports allegations of police corruption. We will review such material, alongside the outcomes of the above IOPC investigations and any previous relevant anti-corruption investigations conducted by the Met, to determine whether any further action is required.”