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Stephen Lawrence's killers found guilty

Gary Dobson and David Norris, two of the original suspects in the racist murder, finally found guilt

Two men have been convicted of the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence, 18 years after the black teenager was stabbed to death by a white gang.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were found guilty of murder today by a jury at the Old Bailey following a seven week trial.

The men were part of a gang who stabbed Lawrence, 18, as he waited for a bus in Eltham, south-east London, in April 1993. Dobson and Norris were arrested two weeks after the murder but the cases against them were dropped due to police failings and because some witnesses were too afraid to give evidence.

Dobson and two other men were later acquitted of murder during a private prosecution brought by Lawrence's parents.

The murder led to a public inquiry which famously revealed a culture of "institutionalised racism" at the Metropolitan police.

New scientific evidence, uncovered during a cold case review which used much more rigorous testing of the clothing of the five main suspects and of Lawrence, tied Dobson and Norris to the murder and disproved their claims that they were not present during the attack.

Prosecutor Mark Ellison QC said: "The only discernible reason for the attack was the colour of his skin. The way in which the attack was executed indicates that this group were a group of like-minded young, white men who acted together and reacted together. They shared the same racial animosity and motivation."

Detectives say that there are nine other suspects who have not been eliminated from the investigation. However, there is insufficient evidence to charge them.

UPDATE 4th Jan:

The two killers have been sentenced.

Gary Dobson must serve a minimum of 15 years and two months before he is eligible for parole.

David Norris must serve a minimum of 14 years and three months before he is eligible for parole.

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.