On Friday 10th May, David Norris (who had been convicted last year of murdering Stephen Lawrence) was refused permission by the Court of Appeal to appeal against the conviction.
His co-defendant , Gary Dobson, who was also convicted, had previously abandoned his application to appeal (somewhat surprisingly).
The fact that the Court of Appeal refused permission was not a surprise to anyone. We do not have a transcript of the ruling of the Court, but when it is published, we will look at it again.
The facts of the case are very well known. From a legal point of view it is also very interesting, covering some important (and controversial) points including:
- double jeopardy,
- joint enterprise,
- the integrity of scientific evidence,
- how to ensure a fair trial with intense media coverage,
- bad character evidence.
A couple of bits of further reading:
- Ruling of the Court of Appeal quashing the acquittal of Mr Dobson
- Sentencing remarks of Treacy J
- Statement from the Attorney-General confirming that the sentences would not be appealed
- And, as a good reminder of the complexity of sentencing, the judgment of Treacy J a month after the sentences confirming a ‘technical error’