originally published by: BBC News
1st April 2010
A police officer has been demoted for trying to sabotage evidence connected with the Stephen Lawrence inquiry. Met detective Paul Steed, 49, tampered with key times and dates on an evidence log, it was confirmed.
A Met spokesman said a misconduct board demoted a detective from the rank of sergeant to constable and fined him.
Stephen, 18, was stabbed to death by a racist gang at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993. The investigation is ongoing. Five men – Neil Acourt, his brother Jamie, David Norris, Gary Dobson and Luke Knight – were the the prime suspects in the Lawrence case.
Three were acquitted of murder after a private prosecution brought by the Lawrence family collapsed at the Old Bailey in 1996.
A Kent Police inquiry took place into the case in 1997, followed by the Macpherson Report in 1999, which found evidence of “pernicious and institutionalised racism” in the Metropolitan Police.