Stephen Lawrence case: Police ‘invented evidence and dealt drugs’
A POLICE chief has revealed shredded files linked to the Stephen Lawrence case showed officers tampered with evidence for cash.
By Jonathan Corke
23 March, 2014
Officers also stole and dealt drugs and made up informants to claim rewards, according to the destroyed files.
The papers from the Metropolitan Police’s top-secret Operation Othona also exposed how police sold intelligence on investigations.
But it appears that the vast bulk of the files, revealing who was involved, were destroyed in 2003.
Stephen’s parents Doreen and Neville have long feared that corruption played a part in the years of police failings over his racist murder in 1993.
Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of his murder in 2012. Othona was an anti-corruption probe authorised by commissioner Paul Condon in the year 18-year-old Stephen died.
“I’d be shocked if it doesn’t exist. There would be no good reason to get rid of it. It was gold dust stuff”
In an internal briefing note Detective Superintendent David Hurley revealed the kind of corruption Othona had found.
The note, found during a recent review by a QC investigating the Lawrence case, was marked “restricted” and read: “Operation Othona findings included evidence of thefts of drugs, sharing informant rewards, fabricating informant reward applications, destroying/fabricating evidence for money [this undermines the reliability of the forensic evidence in the 2012 Dobson-Norris trial], selling operational intelligence and drug trafficking.”
Roy Clark, who headed anti-corruption in the Met at the time of Othona, was stunned when told by Mark Ellison QC’s Stephen Lawrence review that the Othona files were missing.
Mr Clark, who retired in 2001, told Mr Ellison: “I’d be shocked if it doesn’t exist. There would be no good reason to get rid of it. It was gold dust stuff.”
It is feared the files may also have contained crucial clues over alleged corruption in the investigation into the murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan in 1987.
Mr Morgan, 37, was found with an axe in his head in a south-east London pub car park.