Imran Khan has been involved in representing members of the Lawrence family since Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in an unprovoked racist attack on the 22nd April 1993. In 1994 the family launched a private prosecution against 5 men suspected of being involved in the murder. In 1996 the murder trial against Neil Acourt, Luke Knight and Gary Dobson collapsed at the Old Bailey after the Judge ruled that identification evidence was inadmissible.
All three were acquitted. In 1997 an Inquest jury found that Stephen Lawrence was ‘unlawfully killed by 5 white youths in a racist attack’. In July 1997 a Public Inquiry was announced by the Home Secretary, Jack Straw and in December a Police Complaints Authority Report found that the original police investigation involved ‘significant weaknesses, omissions and lost opportunities’. In February 1999 the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report was published making 70 recommendations. In April 2005 the legal principle of double jeopardy was abolished. In January 2012 Gary Dobson and David Norris were convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence. In March 2014 the Home Secretary, Teresa May, announced a further public inquiry in the case relating to matters arising from alleged police surveillance and misconduct.
We acted for the family of Zahid Mubarek who was murdered by a violent racist (Robert Stewart) in his cell at Feltham Young Offenders Institution on the 21st March 2000. On the face of it this was an ‘open and shut case’ with Stewart having confessed to the killing. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. However, the family wanted to know why it was that a known violent racist was placed in the same cell as Zahid Mubarek. This led to an internal prison investigation, an investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality, a landmark House of Lords judgment involving Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and a Public Inquiry. The Public Inquiry was probably one of the most exhaustive examinations of the prison system in the UK. The report, published in June 2006, listed more than 180 failings that led to Zahid’s death and made 88 recommendations for the future.
We acted for the parents of Victoria Climbié who died aged 8 on the 25th February 2000. Her death was caused by multiple injuries arising from months of ill treatment and abuse by her great Aunt, Marie-Therese Kouao and her great Aunt’s partner, Carl John Manning. Following their convictions for murder Lord Laming was appointed to chair a public inquiry into the circumstances leading to and surrounding Victoria’s death. The report of the Inquiry was published on the 28th January 2003. The report made 108 recommendations and the Inquiry found that care workers missed at least 12 chances to save Victoria.