The mother of Stephen Lawrence reacted angrily last night after a former detective was cleared by watchdogs of trying to sabotage her son’s murder probe.
Doreen Lawrence said she was bitterly disappointed that John Davidson had been exonerated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct following a four-year inquiry.
Davidson has repeatedly faced claims he had an improper relationship with the gangster father of one of Stephen’s killers – and tried to thwart the investigation.
The most recent allegations came in an official report in 2014, which raised serious questions about his conduct as a detective sergeant in the days after the stabbing in 1993.
The review by Mark Ellison QC found that Davidson, a retired detective sergeant, may have acted corruptly.
It was claimed he had admitted a ‘corrupt connection’ to David Norris’s gangland father Clifford.
David Norris was finally convicted of Stephen’s murder in 2012 alongside Gary Dobson.
But three other gang members involved in the racist murder in Eltham, south-east London, have cheated justice.
Baroness Lawrence said: ‘I am bitterly disappointed with the news that DS Davidson appears to have been cleared of any wrongdoing. I am particularly disappointed that the first I found out about this was from the Press.’
An IOPC spokesman said: ‘We can confirm that we have advised former DS Davidson and all interested parties that, having reviewed and tested all of the available evidence including the lines of enquiry identified by the Ellison review, we have concluded that there is no indication of corruption on the part of Mr Davidson relating to the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.’
Following Mr Ellison’s 2014 review, Scotland Yard referred a file on Davidson to watchdog officials and in 2015 a probe was launched by the National Crime Agency – and overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission – into claims that ‘bent’ officers may have helped shield Stephen’s killers.
Davidson, who was questioned at the 1998 Macpherson public inquiry into 18-year-old Stephen’s death, has always denied any wrongdoing.
He joined the Lawrence investigation within days of the killing and carried out a number of key roles.
The Macpherson Report described him as a ‘self-willed and abrasive’ character.
The two former senior Scotland Yard detectives have been interviewed under caution over alleged misconduct in public office in the original Lawrence murder investigation.
Two other ex-senior officers involved in the widely criticised first investigation are due to be questioned under caution over the same alleged offences.
Investigators at the National Crime Agency are trying to establish why detectives did not make arrests for two weeks, despite officers repeatedly being given the names of suspects. All four former officers strenuously deny wrongdoing.
Baroness Lawrence said she was pleased senior officers were finally under scrutiny.