In a statement to mark the 25th anniversary of his son Stephen’s death, Neville Lawrence says he has forgiven his son’s killers. The statement issued through his solicitors, Hodge Jones & Allen, says:
“I can scarcely believe that 25 years have passed since our beloved son Stephen was so cruelly taken away from us. Stephen is missed as much today as he was when he was first murdered and I often think about the man that he would have become.
“Whenever I hear a story about another young knife crime victim, of which there are sadly so many, I remember that day on 22 April 1993. I not only think about the life that has been lost, but also how the parents will cope with their life sentence and the damage such a tragedy will cause to their family, friends and community.
“Over the past 25 years I have dealt with very difficult situations; yet, I’ve also been fortunate to meet some truly inspiring people.
“After two of the suspects were convicted of my son’s murder in January 2012, I said that at last I had received some justice and that I did not know if I could rest until all of the suspects had been brought to justice. Since then I have reflected on what and who sustained me at the time that I lost my son, my home, my family and my peace, and it was my faith in God. When I say the Lord’s Prayer, I quote the verse that says, “Forgive me as I forgive those who trespass against me”. I now realise that this was the key to me receiving justice. Forgiveness is not about the person that has wronged you, but it is about freeing yourself. Therefore, I made a profound decision this year; my son Stephen was born on the 13 September, I was born on the 13 March, so on 13 January I was baptised in Jamaica.
“As part of that journey of faith, I called the names of each of the perpetrators that were accused of killing our beloved Stephen and I forgave them. I have justice and I have freedom from the burden that I have carried for so many years, through forgiveness. The law will do what it must, but for me? I am alive, I have love for my dear, precious family, faithful friends and my community, which I will continue to serve in trying to prevent senseless violence, crime and death.”
For further information, please contact:
Kerry Jack at Black Letter Communications on 020 3567 1208 or at
Notes for Editors
Hodge Jones & Allen
- Jocelyn Cockburn of Hodge Jones & Allen has been Mr Lawrence’s solicitor since April 2004, when he instructed the firm to challenge the decision made by the Crown Prosecution Service that no body would face prosecution for the murder of Stephen Lawrence. This decision was reversed and two of the suspects, Gary Dobson and David Norris were ultimately convicted of his murder on 3 January 2012 at the Old Bailey.
- Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its managing partner is Patrick Allen, recently awarded a lifetime achievement award by Solicitors Journal.
- For 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
- The firm’s team of specialists have been operating across: Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- In 2016, the firm launched Hearing their voices – a campaign to raise awareness and build conversations around the issues and the injustices we might all face.