WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 12 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Stephen Lawrence suspect bragged about lack of consequences

Stephen Lawrence suspect bragged about lack of consequences

A Stephen Lawrence murder suspect boasted that he had faced no consequences when attacking a black man in 2015, a BBC investigation reveals.

Matthew White attempted to stab a black security guard with a syringe in 2015. According to the victim, Bethel Ikpeze, White said: I will kill you, I’ve done it before, nothing will happen,” that he had done it to a “fellow like him” before, along with a string of racial slurs including the N-word. White made several references to “Stephen” which were reported to the Met Police.

Nothing came of this. The CPS told the BBC investigation that the information given by the police at the time did not reflect racial abuse. In 2020, White was found to have attacked another shop worker having told him that he would be “Stephen Lawrenced.” Both victims only learned of the convictions through the BBC and Ikpeze was shocked that the racist rhetoric had been not reflected in the charges.

Stephen Lawrence, a black 18-year-old, was killed by six attackers in 1993 in one of the UK’s most brutal racist attacks. Five of the suspects were investigated, however, White was labelled publicly as a witness at the trial of two of the suspects. This is despite an independent investigation by the Kent Police recommending that the Met further investigate his role in the murder.

The Met confirmed that they had arrested White in 2000 and 2013 in connection with the Lawrence murder but the CPS considered there was no realistic prospect of conviction on the information provided. A BBC investigation earlier this year revealed that the Met had surveillance photos of White bearing a similar appearance to portraits of eyewitness descriptions of the sixth attacker from the 1993 killing.

In 1999, public outcry towards the handling of the investigation led to an inquiry into the Met which found that it was “institutionally racist.” White had served time in prison after the 2015 offence wherein an ex-prisoner told the BBC that White had agreed that the Met had mishandled the investigation into Stephen’s murder. The ex-prisoner reported that White had said they “hadn’t really spoken to him in any sort of significant depth” and “had not done their jobs properly.”

The Met released a statement to the BBC announcing that “”We aim to take all reports of racial abuse seriously and we apologise if this was not investigated as it should have been.”