Stephen Lawrence murder suspect Luke Knight seen in London

Smirking as he strolls through the street in his flatcap and shorts, the bearded figure looks a world away from the snarling thug who once stood alongside one of Stephen Lawrence’s killers.

But despite appearances, Luke Knight is the same man who was pelted with eggs as he walked with one of Stephen’s murderers outside the public Inquiry into police handling of the case.

Now 12 years on from the harrowing 1998 dramatic image of him with murderer David Norris, he is a father-of-two.

But unlike Stephen, of whose death he was never tried, he has a future to look forward to as he saunters through south east London.  

Roofer Knight, 43, was seen clutching a phone and what appeared to be a see-through bag of meat today just 24 hours after Scotland Yard said it was filing the case as ‘inactive’.

Luke Knight seen at his parents home in south east London without any shoes

Luke Knight seen at his parents home in south east London without any shoes

Luke Knight was out in public today as Stephen’s brother pleaded for more witnesses

Luke Knight, 43, seen today in south east London 24 hours after police filed the case 'inactive'

Luke Knight, 43, seen today in south east London 24 hours after police filed the case 'inactive'

Luke Knight, 43, seen today in south east London 24 hours after police filed the case ‘inactive’

Luke Knight pictured left outside a 1998 public enquiry with other suspects in the murder case

Luke Knight pictured left outside a 1998 public enquiry with other suspects in the murder case

Luke Knight pictured left outside a 1998 public enquiry with other suspects in the murder case

He was also wearing bright striped shorts but did not appear to have any shoes on his feet as he walked outside his parents’ house.

His appearance came as Stephen’s brother said ‘now is the time’ for ‘brave’ witnesses to come forward to help his family get closure.

Stuart Lawrence urged them: ‘Talk about what happened that fateful night and give us some closure’.

He spoke to Good Morning Britain, speaking about the tragic loss his family have suffered when Stephen was stabbed to death in the racist attack in Eltham in 1993.

Stephen Lawrence, 18, was killed by a group of racists in Eltham, South East London, in 1993

Stephen Lawrence, 18, was killed by a group of racists in Eltham, South East London, in 1993

Stephen Lawrence, 18, was killed by a group of racists in Eltham, South East London, in 1993

Who was jailed for Stephen Lawrence’s murder?

GARY DOBSON

Gary Dobson was a teenage gang member turned drug supplier already behind bars for dealing cannabis by the time he faced trial over the Stephen Lawrence murder. 

A teenage racist, he had been caught on film making hate-filled remarks about black people. He was arrested and charged with Stephen’s murder while he was in custody in 2010.

His previous acquittal for Stephen’s murder was quashed by the Court of Appeal, allowing him to be tried for a second time.

He was forced to admit his racist views in 1994, when he was secretly recorded making vile comments to his friends on a camera planted in the skirting board of his council flat.

Two years earlier in November 1992, Kevin London, then a 16-year-old black youth, was confronted by a gang of white youths and claimed Dobson threatened him with a knife, although no full report was made to the police. 

DAVID NORRIS

David Norris is a convicted racist and son of infamous south London gangster Clifford Norris. 

He was well known on the streets of Eltham by the time Stephen was killed and had had brushes with the law.

Within 24 hours of Stephen’s murder he was named as a member of a knife-wielding gang in two anonymous notes left for police and by an informant who spoke to detectives.

A year earlier Norris had been charged with wounding after allegedly taking part in an attack on two brothers during which one was stabbed with a knife. The charge was dropped in January 1993, three months before Stephen’s murder.

Then on March 18 he was accused of stabbing 20 year-old Stacey Benefield with a miniature sword during an scuffle in Kidbrooke, south London.

But Norris was cleared of involvement after a trial amid allegations there was contact between a juror and a minder connected to Norris.   

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Yesterday Scotland Yard announced it was filing the case as ‘inactive’ – eight years after Gary Dobson and Norris were convicted of murder.

Mr Lawrence added: ‘If you do know what happened, this is the time now to speak up.

‘In my mind that’s the only way we’re going to have true justice, if someone is brave enough to come forward and talk about what happened that fateful night and give us some closure, that’s what we want as a family.

‘You watch movies read story books about how injustices happen and in the light of day justice is served, even though that’s not the best thing to bring back that person.

‘But it gives the family some sort of closure.

‘I know after this I’m going to get people on social media channels saying how we should “just get over it”, but it’s our lives.

‘I’ve lost my brother, my mum’s lost her child, my dad’s lost his child.’

The 18-year-old was murdered by a group of racists while waiting for a bus in Eltham, South East London, in April 1993.

Five men were named by the Daily Mail as his killers in February 1997, but it was not until January 2012 that two of the group were convicted of murder.

Dobson and Norris were jailed for life at the Old Bailey after a trial that hinged on tiny traces of forensic evidence found years after the crime.

Two of the three remaining former suspects, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt, have since served jail time for drug dealing, while Knight has remained free.

The original investigation failed to convict those responsible, and the campaign for justice by Stephen’s parents Baroness Lawrence and her former husband Neville led to a public inquiry which branded the Metropolitan Police institutionally racist.

Knight has always maintained his innocence while police suspect a ‘sixth man’ might have been part of the gang

Although police informants suggested he was one of the gang, he has always maintained his innocence.

Along with Neil Acourt, he was arrested for murder in 1993 but the case was dropped within weeks because of doubts over the evidence. He was formally acquitted of murder at the 1996 private prosecution.

He was not in the dock with Norris and Dobson because of lack of credible identification evidence, no confession and no forensics linking him to the murder.

In 2009 Knight whined about being forever linked to the murder of innocent teenager Stephen. 

Gary Dobson

Gary Dobson

David Norris

David Norris

Gary Dobson (left) and David Norris (right) were jailed for life at the Old Bailey in January 2012 after a trial that hinged on tiny traces of forensic evidence found years after the crime

He said: “I’m an innocent man. I’ve done nothing wrong. I’m totally innocent – I wasn’t even there.

“I have two little girls now. I have not told them about all of this. One day I will, I’ll tell them that I am totally innocent.

“I’ve had 15 years of this – how do you think I’m coping? I can’t even get a job.”

Over 27 agonising years: How the story unfolded 

April 22, 1993: Stephen Lawrence is stabbed to death as he waits at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London.

May-June, 1993: Neil Acourt, Jamie Acourt, Gary Dobson, Luke Knight and David Norris are arrested in connection with his murder.

July 1993: Crown Prosecution Service formally discontinues the prosecution.

December 1993: Southwark coroner Sir Montague Levine halts an inquest into Mr Lawrence’s death after the family’s barrister, Michael Mansfield QC, says there is new evidence in the case.

April 1994: The CPS says the new evidence is insufficient to support murder charges.

September 1994: The Lawrence family begins a private prosecution against Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Dobson.

December 1994: Secret video evidence is filmed showing Dobson and Norris making obscene racist remarks.

April 1996: The private prosecution against Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Dobson begins at the Old Bailey but collapses after identification evidence is ruled inadmissible. The three are acquitted.

February 1997: An inquest jury finds that Stephen was ‘unlawfully killed by five white youths’. The Daily Mail runs a front page story with pictures of the suspects under the headline ‘Murderers’.

December 1997: A Police Complaints Authority report on the original police investigation of Stephen’s murder identifies ‘significant weaknesses, omissions and lost opportunities’.

February 1999: The Macpherson Report finds the police guilty of mistakes and ‘institutional racism.’ It also suggested a rethink of the principle of ‘double jeopardy’ laws.

April 1999: The five arrested in 1993 deny involvement in a TV interview.

September 2002: Norris and Neil Acourt are jailed for 18 months for a racist attack on off-duty policeman Gareth Reid.

May 2004: The CPS announces there is ‘insufficient evidence’ to prosecute anyone for the murder.

April 2005: Double jeopardy is scrapped if there is new evidence.

May 2011: The Court of Appeal agrees that Dobson’s 1996 murder acquittal can be quashed.

From the Daily Mail, March 7, 2014

From the Daily Mail, March 7, 2014

From the Daily Mail, March 7, 2014

November 2011: The trial of Dobson and Norris for Stephen’s murder begins.

January 2012: Dobson and Norris are found guilty of murder at Old Bailey.

March 2013: A review by Mark Ellison QC finds that a Met ‘spy’ was working within the ‘Lawrence family camp’ during the course of the judicial inquiry into matters arising from his death.

March 2015: Then-home secretary Theresa May launches an inquiry into undercover policing following the report of the Ellison Inquiry.

October 2015: The National Crime Agency announces that the Met are being investigated for alleged corruption over their initial handling of the case.

April 2018: Scotland Yard admits it has no new lines of inquiry in the investigation into Stephen’s murder.

April 2019: Then-prime minister Theresa May marks the first Stephen Lawrence Day.

YESTERDAY: The Met announces that there are no further lines of inquiry in the murder probe. 

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