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Doreen Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence

Doreen Lawrence finally won her 19-year battle for justice for murdered son Stephen this year.


But Doreen, 60, not only won justice for Stephen, she has also campaigned tirelessly to make the legal system fairer for everyone.

And the charitable foundation she set up in Stephen’s memory is providing a lasting legacy by changing thousands of young lives.

Stephen was 18 when he was stabbed to death by a racist gang in 1993, and when murder charges against the suspects were dropped, Doreen resolved to hold the men who killed her son to account. She became a powerful campaigner, forcing a public inquiry into the way police dealt with Stephen’s murder.

Its findings made the Metropolitan Police institute major changes to all murder investigations.

Doreen launched the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998 to promote equal opportunities for young people.

Doreen says: “We also run a programme to financially support architecture students, as Stephen dreamed of being an architect.”

Meanwhile, in 2000 Doreen won an amendment to the Race Relations Act, meaning authorities must reveal what measures they are taking to treat all people fairly.

Then, thanks to her campaigning, the Criminal Justice Act 2003 scrapped double jeopardy – the legal principle preventing someone being tried twice for the same crime.

In 2008 she opened the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Lewisham which offers free courses in IT, ­creative arts and ­multimedia.

Recalling the January day David Norris and Gary Dobson were finally convicted of murdering Stephen, Doreen said: “The verdict stunned me, I was in shock.”