London, Jan 4: A British court today jailed two white men for a minimum of 14 and 15 years for the “evil” murder of a black teenager in 1993, in one of the worst racist crimes that “scarred the conscience of the nation”.
While Gary Dobson, 36, will serve a minimum of 15 years and two months in jail, David Norris, 35, will be in prison for 14 years and three months for the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Yesterday the two men were found guilty by an Old Bailey jury of killing 18-year-old Lawrence, who was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths.
Their sentencing comes amidst anger and grief over the unprovoked killing of Indian student Anuj Bidve in Salford on December 26 in an apparent hate crime in the UK.
The men were only sentenced at the Old Bailey as juveniles as they were under 18 at the time of the attack.
At a packed court, the judge, Justice Treacy, described the crime as “terrible and evil” and a “murder which scarred the conscience of the nation”.
Norris and Dobson were the first people convicted over the fatal attack on Lawrence by a group of white youths near a bus stop in Eltham in April 1993.
The judge also said he hoped Norris and Dobsons' convictions would “not close the matter” and that police would be alert to further lines of inquiry.
Passing sentence, Justice Treacy said the murder was committed for no other reason than racial hatred. He said Lawrence was completely blameless and helpless and the “gravity of this case is high”.
Speaking outside court, Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen said the minimum terms were quite low but she recognised “the judges' hands were tied” and thanked him for his sentencing remarks which recognised the stress the family had suffered.
“It's the beginning of starting a new life. We have been in limbo for so long,” she said.