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Wednesday, 23 October, 2002, 11:24 GMT 12:24 UK
Murder victim's family to sue police
Delroy Denton
Delroy Denton was jailed for life in July 1996
The family of a woman killed by a police informer have been told by three senior judges they can sue the Metropolitan Police and Home Office.

Delroy Denton, a so-called "Yardie" gangster, was jailed for life in July 1996 for the murder of 24-year-old Marcia Lawes in London in 1995.

At the time Denton was a paid informer on the books of SO11, Scotland Yard's criminal intelligence division.

The decision on Wednesday by Lord Justice Sedley overturns a Central London County Court judge who struck out the family's claim.

Marcia Lawes who was killed at home
Marcia Lawes was raped and stabbed 18 times

The family says Denton was known to be dangerous and that by allowing him to roam free the police and Home Office were acting unlawfully.

After the hearing Sadiq Khan, the solicitor representing the victim's family, said: "We welcome this landmark decision.

"The police cannot use the community as a dumping ground for criminals.

"The police and immigration service allowed this very dangerous criminal to remain at large, which resulted in serious crimes being committed prior to Marcia being murdered.

"The police and Home Office have added insult to injury by trying to escape liability."

He said this was the first case where the police and Home Office were being sued for failure to protect members of the public from dangerous criminals.

Mr Khan said the family would be seeking a seven figure sum in damages.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Paul Curran
"Delroy Denton became a paid police informer even though his handlers knew he had a history of violence"

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

02 Nov 02 | England
09 Sep 01 | UK
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