Stephen Lawrence (13 September 1974 – 22 April 1993) was a British black man from Eltham, south east London, who was murdered in a racist attack while waiting for a bus on the evening of 22 April 1993.
Witnesses said he was attacked by a gang of white youths chanting racist slogans.
After the initial investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. It was suggested during the course of that investigation that the murder was racially motivated and that Lawrence was killed because he was black, and that the handling of the case by the police and Crown Prosecution Service was affected by issues of race.
On 18 May 2011, following a cold case review, it was announced that two of the original suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris, were to stand trial for the murder in the light of "new and substantial evidence" becoming available. At the same time it was disclosed that Dobson's original acquittal had been quashed by the Court of Appeal, allowing a retrial to take place.
A jury was selected on 14 November 2011, and the trial started on the following day. On 3 January 2012, Dobson and Norris were found guilty of Lawrence's murder, and were sentenced on 4 January 2012 to detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure, equivalent to a life sentence for an adult, with minimum terms of 15 years 2 months and 14 years 3 months respectively for what the judge described as a "terrible and evil crime". The sentences would have been far longer but the crime had been committed many years previously and before adulthood, requiring sentencing as juveniles according to the law as it stood at the time of the murder.
The Stone Shop first became involved with the Lawrence family, when the first memorial plaque, which was purchased from elsewhere, was subjected to a hammer attack in 1996 and was damaged beyond repair. The Stone Shop manged to contact Doreen Lawrence and offered to donate a new memorial.
Since installing the replacement memorial, The Stone Shop has continued to maintain and renovate it. Over the years, the plaque has suffered further vandalism and is now monitored by police CCTV constantly.
The Stone Shop will continue to pledge their support to the Lawrences and to the memory of Stephen in the years to come.