Stephen Lawrence: Police say new information has come in

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Media captionNeville Lawrence urged Norris and Dobson to give up any accomplices to his son's murder

Detectives in the Stephen Lawrence case were given new information during the trial of two men convicted for his murder, it has been revealed.

Police said there had been at least five calls from the public and the information was being evaluated.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were jailed for life for the 1993 racist killing in south-east London.

Britain's top police officer has said the remaining suspects in the case "should not rest easily in their beds".

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force was "actively reviewing the consequences of what opportunities might be presented" by the convictions.

He added: "Anything you know, please tell us. We can make a difference in this case still."

The new development was revealed by Det Ch Insp Clive Driscoll, who was commended by the trial judge for his work on the latest investigation.

He said: "We have had people who have phoned in during the trial and offered their assistance and we are looking at that to the best of our abilities.

"People will always phone in when you get this type of case."

'Racial hatred'

Det Ch Insp Driscoll, who has led the investigation since 2006, said officers would visit Dobson and Norris in prison to see whether they would assist the inquiry.

He said this was standard procedure where other offenders remained at large - but even if they did help police there is no possibility of reducing sentences.

Dobson was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years and two months and Norris 14 years and three months.

Image caption Gary Dobson and David Norris had denied murder

Det Ch Insp Driscoll said he felt "optimistic" about progress in the case and said there were still opportunities to gather forensic evidence.

Officers from the Lawrence inquiry team will discuss the case at a meeting with senior Scotland Yard officers next week.

Dobson and Norris are the first people convicted over the fatal attack on 18-year-old Mr Lawrence in Eltham on 22 April 1993.

In May of that year, brothers Neil and Jamie Acourt and Luke Knight were arrested alongside Dobson and Norris.

Three years later Neil Acourt, Mr Knight and Dobson were charged with murder but were acquitted after the CPS decided evidence was unreliable.

During Wednesday's sentencing, Mr Justice Treacy said he hoped the convictions would not "close the file", adding that three or four other killers were at large.

He told the Old Bailey: "Just as advances in science have brought two people to justice, I hope police will be alert to future lines of inquiry, not only based on developments in science but also information."

The pair were sentenced under guidelines in place at the time of the attack and as juveniles because both had been under 18.

BBC home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani, who was in court, said the police were clearly relieved, adding: "In many respects this is a moment of atonement for officers."

In 1999, Scotland Yard was described as "institutionally racist" by the Macpherson Inquiry, which looked at the police handling of the case.

Mr Hogan-Howe said of the description: "I hope we are not but it is a bit like asking someone if they are a nice person. Are we the best people to ask?"

He said the force was "hugely different from where we were" in 1993.

Brian Paddick, the Met's former deputy assistant commissioner, said police had put extra resources into the investigation in an attempt to recover the black community's goodwill.

He told the BBC News Channel: "They couldn't rewrite history, or the mistakes made in the past, but they have made best possible effort to redeem themselves."

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