Stephen Lawrence - timeline of events

BBC News Online looks back at the key moments in the Stephen Lawrence case.
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Stephen Lawrence 22 April 1993
Stephen Lawrence murdered in Eltham, south-east London
Stephen Lawrence April 1994
Lawrences launch a private prosecution
Stephen Lawrence 10 February 1997
Coroners court concludes that Lawrence's death was an "unlawful killing". Soon after, the Daily Mail newspaper publishes front page pictures of the five accused, calling them murderers

Stephen Lawrence 31 July 1997
Rt Hon Jack Straw announces an inquiry into Stephen's death, chaired by Sir William Macpherson, "in order particularly to identify the lessons to be learned for the investigation and prosecution of racially motivated crimes"
Stephen Lawrence 11 March 1998
In advance of the public hearings beginning on 16 March 1998, Sir William says the five originally arrested must give evidence. If they refuse they will be liable to prosecution
Stephen Lawrence 27 May 1998
Brian Weeden, head of the murder squad for 14 months, admits that until recently he did not understand the legal grounds on which police can make arrests
 
Stephen Lawrence 17 June 1998
Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Jonston says he is “very sorry” to have let the Lawrence’s down and to have supported the way the murder inquiry was conducted.
Stephen Lawrence 1 July 1998
A senior Crown Prosecution Service lawyer accuses the Lawrence's of wrecking future prospects of their son's killers being brought to justice
Stephen Lawrence 1 Oct 1998
Sir Paul apologises: "I deeply regret we have not brought Stephen's racist murders to justice and I would like to personally apologise again today to Mr and Mrs Lawrence for our failure." He repeatedly denies that there is institutional racism in his force
 
Stephen Lawrence 24 February 1999
The UK Government praised Sir William Macpherson’s report and embraces its 70 recommendations to break down institutionalised racism. Prime Minister Tony Blair promises radical reform in the wake of the report.
Stephen Lawrence 29 July 1993
Charges against two youths, who first appeared in court in June, are dropped. The Crown Prosecution Service says there is insufficient evidence to continue with the prosecution
Stephen Lawrence April 1996
Private prosecution collapses. Identification evidence relating to the three youths is ruled inadmissible leading to acquittal
Stephen Lawrence March 1997
Police Complaints Authority (PCA) announces it will carry out an investigation into the case
Stephen Lawrence 15 December 1997
The PCA report concludes that the police operation was well organised and effective and that there was no evidence of racist conduct. It also concludes there were weaknesses and omissions during the investigation and subsequent attempts to solve the crime had been hampered. The report is handed to Sir William's Inquiry for consideration
Stephen Lawrence 24 March 1998
Public hearings in the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry begin
Stephen Lawrence 15 June 1998
Inquiry watches a videotape recorded by a secret police camera hidden in the flat of one of the suspects, showing them brandishing knives and expressing violent racist views
Stephen Lawrence 29 June 1998
Inquiry finishes evidence hearing. The following day Mrs Lawrence calls for Sir Paul Condon to resign
Stephen Lawrence 20 July 1998
The suspects are pelted with bottles after evasive and implausible evidence. The suspects release a statement denying the accusations against them
Stephen Lawrence 13 November 1998
Hearings in the inquiry come to an end in Birmingham