Funds pour in for Lawrence action

LAWYERS handling the private prosecution of four youths for the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence have set up a special fighting fund to pay for the investigation.

The eight-strong team of barristers and solicitors have set up the Stephen Lawrence disbursement account alongside the existing fund which pays for other aspects of the Lawrence family's campaign.

Stephen died two years ago after being stabbed by a gang of white youths in south London.

The Crown Prosecution Service charged two youths with the murder but later dropped the charges. Last week, the four currently accused were remanded in custody by Greenwich magistrates and charged under the private action.

Imran Khan, solicitor at London-based JR Jones and acting for the family, is appealing for donations to the new fund to pay for the analysis of forensic evidence and the cost of tracing and re-interviewing witnesses.

He says the firm has been flooded with donations already and many members of the legal profession have offered their service free of charge. “The response really has been encouraging,” he says.

Michael Mansfield QC, who heads the unpaid legal team, says: “Individuals have been ringing up my chambers offering money for the campaign.”

Other lawyers on the case are criminal counsel Tanoo Mylvaganam and Annie Dixon, civil barristers Martin Soorjoo and Margo Boye, and Caron Thatcher and Oliver Lewis, solicitors with JR Jones.

Anybody who wishes to donate should make cheques payable to JR Jones and send them to the firm at 56b The Mall, Ealing, London W5 3TE.