Timeline 1974 – present

A timeline of key events and changes that have been brought about in Stephen Lawrence’s name.

The Story of Stephen Lawrence


Stephen Lawrence is born.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Loved by his family and friends, Stephen dreamed of becoming an architect. </span></p>


Stephen Lawrence murdered.

<p>Stephen Lawrence is killed in an unprovoked racist attack.</p>

The Lawrence family meet Nelson Mandela.

<p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>


A private prosecution is launched.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">A private prosecution is launched by Stephen’s parents against three suspects. It fails in April 1996.</span></p>


A public enquiry is announced.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">A public enquiry is announced to look into the killing and subsequent police investigation. </span></p>


Macpherson report published.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">It accuses the Metropolitan Police of institutional racism and makes 70 recommendations, many aimed at improving police attitudes to racism. </span></p>


Double jeopardy is scrapped.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">The legal principle prevented suspects being tried twice for the same crime. </span></p>


Memorial opens

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Doreen Lawrence opens the £10m Stephen Lawrence Centre in honour of her son. </span></p>


Trial begins.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">The trial of Gary Dobson and David Norris begins at the Old Bailey. Both men are found guilty of the murder of Stephen Lawrence and are given life sentences. </span></p>


National day announced.

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">National day announced by Prime Minister Theresa May to commemorate Stephen Lawrence’s life. Stephen Lawrence Day will be celebrated every year on 22 April. </span></p>

Discover the pivotal moments from Stephen’s life and legacy by downloading our Stephen Lawrence Timeline (PDF).