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Stephen Lawrence Trust ‘heartened’ by hope of new inquiry

RISK OF CLOSURE: The Stephen Lawrence centre

PAUL WALSH, managing director of the Stephen Lawrence Trust said the trust was ‘heartened’ by reports that Home Secretary Theresa May is considering a new public inquiry into Stephen’s murder.

In a statement on Monday (April 23), Walsh said: ‘At a time when many of the black community's opinion shapers fear that the Coalition Government is uninterested in the persistent problem of Race Inequality, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust is heartened by the news, the day after the 19th anniversary of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, that the Home Secretary is contemplating opening a new public inquiry into the allegations corruption surrounding the investigation into Stephen's murder.’

Stephen, 18, was attacked and stabbed by a gang of racist youths on April 22, 1993. The police’s mishandling of the original investigations and the subsequent Macpherson inquiry and 1999 report led to the Met police being first labelled ‘institutionally racist.’

Walsh added: ‘Commissioning a root and branch Inquiry into these very serious allegations would provide a clear signal that the Government is in fact genuinely interested in racial justice and help to ensure that The Metropolitan Police Force, is a genuinely disinterested body in whom we can place our trust.’

Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, wrote to the Home Secretary in March with an inquiry request after allegations in the Independent newspaper that some evidence may have been withheld from the original 1993 inquiry into Stephen’s murder.

It was alleged that police corruption may have protected the gang accused of killing Stephen.

In January, two men were jailed for Stephen’s murder.

At 3.00 pm today (April 24), Mrs. Lawrence is to hold a private church service to mark 19 years since her son’s murder. It will also mark the family’s long fight for justice.

She thanked Voice readers for their support, telling The Voice she is ‘looking forward to the future and the continued work of the Trust, in helping young people like Stephen.’

The Trust has also called on the public to help the Stephen Lawrence Centre, which is at risk of closure, to raise £500,000 to keep it open.

It told The Voice it is currently working on various projects, to help raise money over the coming year, including having art projects and a sponsored walk around September.

People can help the Stephen Lawrence centre by sending cheques to The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, 39 Brookmill Road,Deptford, London, SE8 4HU.

They can also contribute by texting the word 'SLCT18' followed by either £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 or by donating at http://www.justgiving.com/slct/Donate
ENDS…

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