The Daily Mail has reprinted the “Murderers” front page it published nine years ago following new evidence on the Stephen Lawrence murder case emerging in a BBC documentary last night.
In February 1997 the Mail published pictures of the five youths accused of Lawrence’s murder. Lawrence was killed while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south London in 1993. The five were tried but found not guilty.
The documentary claimed that Detective Sergeant John Davidson, who was involved in the case, was in the pay of the father of David Norris, one of the youths accused.
Aside from its headline and repeated strapline reading “The Mail accuses these men of killing. If we are wrong, let them sue us.” The Mail were not sued by any of the five accused.
The first time the front was published it prompted calls for editor Paul Dacre to be jailed for contempt of court but the newspaper was cleared.
The story says: “We are naming these men because, despite a criminal case, a private prosecution and an inquest, there has still been no justice for Stephen. If these men are innocent they now have every opportunity to clear their names in a legal action against the Daily Mail.”
On page 7 a cartoon features a long arm reaching for a bundle of cash over a plaque with Lawrence’s name written on it. The cartoon is captioned “The long arm of the law”.