Stephen Lawrence: New evidence to be 'centre stage'

Artist's impression of Gary Dobson and David Norris The trial of Gary Dobson and David Norris is expected to last until Christmas

The judge in the trial of two men charged with murdering black teenager Stephen Lawrence has said new scientific evidence will be central.

Mr Justice Treacy also told the panel of potential jurors they should disregard anything they may have previously heard about the case.

The 18-year-old was stabbed to death by a gang of white youths in Eltham, south-east London, on 22 April 1993.

Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, both of south London, deny the charges.

Stephen's parents Doreen and Neville were amongst those in court to witness the start of the trial before Mr Justice Treacy.

The high-profile killing at a bus stop of the A-level student prompted a public inquiry into the Metropolitan Police's handling of the case.

A jury is being selected from a pool of 49 potential jurors, but will not be sworn in until Tuesday.

Mr Justice Treacy warned them not to discuss the case with "curious friends and family" and banned them from consulting the internet so as not to jeopardise a fair trial.

He also described the trial as an important case with particular sensitivities, which had aroused strong feelings among many people.

The prosecution is led by Mark Ellison QC, Mr Dobson is being defended by Timothy Roberts QC, and Stephen Batten QC is representing Mr Norris.

The case is expected to last around two months.

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