“This has been a very difficult time for me and I would like to thank all those people that have expressed kindness and support for me and my family over the last 18 years.
I would also like to thank the jury for their verdicts today. However, despite these verdicts, today is not a cause for celebration.
How can I celebrate when my son lies buried? When I cannot see him or speak to him? When will I see him grow up and go to university or get married or have children? These verdicts will not bring my son back.
How can I celebrate when I know that this day could have come 18 years ago if the police who were meant to find my son’s killers (had not) failed so miserably to do so. These are not a reason to celebrate.
All I now feel is relief that two of my son’s killers have finally been caught and brought to justice; relief that these racist men can no longer think that they can murder a black man and get away with it; relief that despite the defence being able to raise issues of contamination, the jury saw through it.
I feel relieved that, to some extent, I can move forward with my life. But mixed with relief is anger – anger that me and my family were put through 18 years of grief and uncertainty, not knowing if or when we would ever get justice.
Had the police done their job properly, I would have spent the last 18 years grieving for my son rather than fighting to get his killers to court.
Anger that despite the police saying that this case was so important to them, the exhibits were treated in such a way the defence could suggest contamination.
This result shows that the police can do their job properly but only if they want to. I only hope that they have learnt their lesson and don’t put any other family through what we have been put through.
The fact is that racism and racist attacks are still happening in this country and the police should not use my son’s name to say that we can move on.
Now that we have some sort of justice, I want people to think of Stephen other than [as] a black teenager murdered in a racist attack in south-east London in April 1993.
I know that’s the fact but I now want people to remember him as a bright, beautiful young man who any parent of whatever background would have been proud of.
He was a wonderful son and a shining example of what any parent would want in a child. I miss him with a passion. Hopefully now he can rest in peace.”
“My life was torn apart by the senseless murder of my son over 18 years ago. Unfortunately no one was brought before a court at that time as they should have been.
The loss itself, together with the lack of justice, have meant that I have not been able to rest all this time. I’m therefore full of joy and relief that today finally two of my son’s killers have been convicted for his murder.
They will be sent to prison and forced to face the consequences of their actions – consequences which my family and I have been living with all these years.
I would like to thank the police and prosecutors for their faultless preparation and delivery of the case.
I would like to thank the judge for the work he has put in to ensure that the suspects had a fair trial. I thank the jury for their careful attention to my son’s case day after day and the verdicts they have delivered.
Something has happened over the last seven weeks – I have watched justice being done. As for me, I’m not sure where I will go from here. I will let this good news sink in for some time.
However, I’m also conscious of the fact that there were five or six attackers that night. I do not think I’ll be able to rest until they are all brought to justice.”
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