Twenty-one years after it first aired on British television, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence will broadcast once again on ITV1 on Thursday 16 July.

Stephen Lawrence
Doreen and Neville Lawrence, played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Hugh Quarshie
Image credit: ITV

The two-hour dramatisation recreates the fateful night in April 1993 when the 18-year-old A-level student died after being attacked by a gang of youths in Eltham, south London. He didn’t know his killers and his killers didn’t know him.

The Murder of Stephen Lawrence tells the story of the aftermath of Stephen Lawrence’s murder through the eyes of his parents, Doreen and Neville Lawrence, played by Marianne Jean-Baptiste and Hugh Quarshie.

The drama follows the family’s fight for justice including the public inquiry into the police investigation of the murder.

The public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case in 1998 eventually led to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which acknowledged institutional racism in the British criminal justice system.

“There are still too many young people who do not have a sense of hope, who just don’t get the chance to live their dreams.”

While the report called for changes in attitudes to racism, to the law and to police practice, more than two decades later, it would appear that not much has changed.

Speaking at the 20th anniversary of her son’s death, Baroness Lawrence said: “Justice for Stephen is about all of us, every one of us, in society having justice. There are still too many young people who do not have a sense of hope, who just don’t get the chance to live their dreams. I want all our children and young people to feel inspired, be confident and have hope in their own future. We are building hope but there is more to do.”

Preceding the drama, there will be a special live discussion programme, Stephen Lawrence: Has Britain Changed? at 8pm on ITV. Hosted by Rageh Omar and Anushka Asthana, the programme will examine how equal the UK really is and what needs to change.


Watch The Murder of Stephen Lawrence on Thursday 16 July at 9pm on ITV.

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