Lawrence case defence lawyer brands inquiry a show trial

One of the lawyers for a prime suspect in the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence has lambasted Sir William Macpherson's judicial inquiry into his death, claiming it was a show trial.

In an exclusive interview with The Lawyer, Michael Holmes, the solicitor representing Gary Dobson – one of the five accused of killing Lawrence – also reveals that a senior police officer begged his client to become a crown witness.

Holmes says he was repeatedly asked by Detective Superintendent William Mellish in 1995 if Dobson would testify against his four co-accused.

“I thought it showed a measure of desperation. Coming from an officer of that seniority in this case – I found that amazing,” says Holmes.

Dobson rejected the police offer, saying he and his four accused were innocent.

However, Holmes ex-presses sympathy for the Metropolitan Police, labelled as institutionally racist by Macpherson in his report.

“The only prejudice I understand police officers to have is against criminals,” he says.

Holmes says he has no complaints about how police treated his client, adding that while they were “bursting” for a conviction, they treated Dobson with “kid gloves”.

Holmes adds that Dobson last week asked him if he could take legal action in Holland against the Daily Mail for accusing him of being a murderer, as he feared public reaction if he went to a UK court.

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