Great Britain

Where is David Norris now and why did he kill Stephen Lawrence?

DAVID Norris, one of Stephen Lawrence's killers in 1993, was granted legal aid funded by the taxpayer after he was battered in jail.

The decision to give Norris the cash sparked fury last year after Charlie Gard's parents were denied support in their High Court bid to keep their terminally ill son alive. Here's the lowdown on Norris.

Who is David Norris?

Norris grew up in leafy Chislehurst - miles from his fellow gang members who were raised in a more deprived area of Eltham in South London.

But he bonded with the thugs over a shared love of violence and hatred of black people.

When police first arrested Norris on suspicion of murdering Stephen in 1993 when he was aged 16, officers had to pass through electronic gates at his dad's £800,000 home.

But in 2012, when they came knocking with an arrest warrant in hand, they found Norris in less lavish surroundings.

The killer was living out of a van and dossing in a bedsit above a pub in Greenwich.

He was making a living selling scrap metal after falling out with his drug baron dad.

The brute no longer cared for his five children after splitting with his girlfriend.

Norris' life was littered with convictions for violence and racism but there have been suggestions that he managed to escape prosecution allegedly because of his dad's influence and money.

As a teen, he was implicated along with other gang members in a string of violent knife attacks in South East London.

Where is David Norris?

David is in prison, serving a minimum 14 year and three month sentence.

Norris sought £10,000 from the government after he was beaten up in notorious Belmarsh Prison.

He claimed he was targeted by three black inmates, who used a knife and a sock full of tin cans.

The killer reportedly suffered a broken nose and cuts to his face, as well as black eyes, broken ribs and lasting psychological effects.

Norris was given public funding for his court battle against prison chiefs.

His legal fees could cost the British taxpayer £70,000 - while Chris Gard and Connie Yates were denied support in their high court fight to save their son’s life.

To add further insult to injury, Stephen's family were denied legal aid in 1994 when they tried to bring Norris and two other men suspected of their son's killing to justice.

Why did he kill Stephen Lawrence?

There's no doubt that Stephen's murder was motivated by racism alone.

In 1994, police used covert surveillance on Dobson and captured Norris spewing vile racist language in a shocking rant.

He said: “If I was going to kill myself do you know what I'd do? I'd go and kill every black, every P***, every mug, every copper that I know.

“I'd go down to Catford and places like that with two submachine guns and I'm telling you I'd take one of them. Skin the black alive, mate. Torture him, set him alight.

“I'd blow their two legs and arms off and say: ‘Go on, you can swim home now.”

In 2002, he was jailed for five years after he yelled n***** and hurled a drink at an off-duty police officer on the same road where he and four others had chased Stephen down like a dog and hacked at him in the brutal slaying nine years earlier.

Ten years later, he was caged for life with a minimum of 14 years and three months for Stephen's murder.

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