News story

Sentences of Dobson and Norris not to be referred to Court of Appeal

Men convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence will not have their sentences reviewed as too low.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

After careful review, the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve QC MP, has decided not to refer the sentences of Gary Dobson and David Norris - convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence - to the Court of Appeal as possibly unduly lenient.

Explaining the decision, Mr Grieve said:

This was a despicable and appalling crime. Justice was long delayed and I can fully understand why some people are unhappy that the minimum terms handed down were not longer.

However, having considered the sentences carefully I have come to the conclusion that the minimum terms are within the appropriate range of sentences, bearing in mind the offenders’ ages at the time of the crime, and therefore I have decided not to refer them to the Court of Appeal.

It is perhaps worth emphasising that the terms are the minimum periods that will actually be served. Dobson and Norris will not be released unless and until the Parole Board considers they do not pose a risk.

Published 1 February 2012