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.

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


Stephen Lawrence murdered.

Stephen Lawrence is killed in an unprovoked racist attack.

The Lawrence family meet Nelson Mandela.






A private prosecution is launched.

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


A public enquiry is announced.

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


Macpherson report published.

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


Double jeopardy is scrapped.

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


Memorial opens

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


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.


National day announced.

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.

Discover the pivotal moments from Stephen’s life and legacy by downloading our Stephen Lawrence Timeline (PDF).