Stephen Lawrence killer gets legal aid for compensation claim

first_img Show more The judge who oversaw the case, Mr Justice Francis, suggested people in their position should always have access to lawyers: “It does seem to me that Parliament … cannot have intended that parents in the position that these parents have been in should have no access to legal advice or representation.”He continued: “I can think of few more profound cases than ones where a [hospital] trust is applying to the court for a declaration that a life-support machine should be switched off in respect of a child.” The cost of the case could run to up to £70,000. In February he was granted permission to proceed with his claim for damages against the Ministry of Justice.His application for legal aid has now been approved and was revealed at Central London county court yesterday, the Mirror reported.  Charlie Gard with parents  Norris was jailed alongside Gary Dobson for Mr Lawrence’s murder in 2012. Between them they were given more than £425,000 in legal aid for their defence. The murderer grew up in a mock Tudor mansion in a wealthy part of south east London, but later joined a gang and picked up criminal convictions for violence and racism. The decision to fund Norris’s claim is likely to prompt particular criticism in the wake of reforms which aimed to cut the budget for legal aid by £450m.Liberal Democrat Home Affais spokesman Ed Davey said: “This shows the legal aid system is broken and urgently needs to be fixed.”The parents of Charlie Gard were not entitled to legal aid and had to rely on lawyers working pro bono for them in their dispute over treatment for the terminally ill child.  Flowers at a memorial for Stephen Lawrence after his killers were convicted in 2012 He added: “I cannot imagine that anyone ever intended parents to be in this position.”It has also been suggested that legal aid cuts may have prevented Grenfell Tower residents pursuing their concerns over safety before the deadly fire. The president of the Law Society, Robert Bourns, said that if lack of legal aid had stopped the tenants challenging safety standards, “we may have a very stark example of what limiting legal aid can mean”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. One of the killers of Stephen Lawrence has been granted legal aid in a battle to get compensation from the Government after he was allegedly beaten up in prison.David Norris is suing the Ministry of Justice for £10,000 in damages, saying inadequate steps were taken to protect him. The MoJ denies any breach of duty. Norris, 40, was convicted five years ago of the racist murder of Mr Lawrence in Eltham, south-east London. Mr Lawrence was only 18 when he was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop in 1993. Norris has since tried to have his conviction overturned but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal. He was allegedly beaten up by three inmates at Belmarsh Prison, south-east London, leaving him with a broken nose, cuts to his face requiring 18 stitches, black eyes, broken ribs and anxiety. The MoJ disputes the claim. The prisoners were not charged over the incident. Charlie Gard’s parents did not get legal aidCredit:PA  Flowers at a memorial for Stephen Lawrence after his killers were convicted in 2012Credit:Geoff Pugh last_img read more