Mother of Stephen Lawrence pays tribute at doctorate award

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THE mother of Stephen Lawrence has paid an emotional tribute to her son ahead of the 20th anniversary of his murder as she received an honorary degree from a leading university in Yorkshire.

Doreen Lawrence received the honorary doctorate from the University of York yesterday in recognition of her long-running campaign for justice after her teenage son was killed in a racist attack in London in April 1993.

She founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust as a legacy to her son and is a member of the board of the human rights organisation, Liberty, as well as a patron of the hate-crime charity, Stop Hate UK.

Mrs Lawrence said: “I feel very proud to receive an honorary degree from the University of York and for what this means in recognising the achievements of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. It comes in an important year for me, 20 years since Stephen was murdered.

“I find it difficult to believe – in my mind it only seems like a few years ago. Stephen is in my every waking moment and over the years his death has never ceased to have the same impact on me as when it first happened.

“I think Stephen would be amazed at our achievement and the impact we have made on so many young people’s lives. We want to carry on honouring Stephen’s legacy by supporting many other young people to overcome discrimination and disadvantage and become high achievers in our society.”

Gary Dobson and David Norris were given life sentences at the Old Bailey last year after the trial heard a gang of white youths attacked A-level student Stephen while he waited for a bus on April 22, 1993.

Meanwhile, Lord Prescott was given an honorary degree at the University of Hull yesterday. It is the second degree from the university for the former Deputy Prime Minister and Hull East MP, as he graduated there in 1968.