Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation

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.
Stephen Lawrence Childhood

Loved by his family and friends, Stephen dreamed of becoming an architect.

22 April 1993
Stephen Lawrence murdered.

Stephen Lawrence is killed in an unprovoked racist attack.

06 May 1993
The Lawrence family meet Nelson Mandela.
nelson mandela doreen lawrence

On the 6 May 1993 Nelson Mandela at his own request met with Doreen and Neville. Without that meeting and the publicity it brought we might not be gathered in this church today.

So it is fitting on this occasion to recall his words:

‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.’


September 1994
A private prosecution is launched.
timeline prosecution

A private prosecution is launched by Stephen’s parents against three suspects. It fails in April 1996.

July 1997
A public enquiry is announced.

A public enquiry is announced to look into the killing and subsequent police investigation.

February 1999
Macpherson report published.

It accuses the Metropolitan Police of institutional racism and makes 70 recommendations, many aimed at improving police attitudes to racism.

April 2005
Double jeopardy is scrapped.

The legal principle prevented suspects being tried twice for the same crime.

February 2008
Memorial opens
memorial building

Doreen Lawrence opens the £10m Stephen Lawrence Centre in honour of her son.

November 2011
Trial begins.

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.

22 April 2018
National day announced.
timeline logo

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.