David Norris, one of Stephen Lawrence’s killers, is suing the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) after he was allegedly attacked by a black inmate.
Norris who is serving a life sentence for killing the 18-year-old student, is suing the MoJ for £10,000 claiming he was not suitably protected whilst he was serving time in Belmarsh prison.
Norris was jailed along with fellow murderer, Gary Dobson. They were convicted under joint enterprise in 2012, sentenced to life in prison and ordered to serve a minimum jail term of 15 years and two months, and 14 years and three months respectively.
During his time in prison Norris has unsurprisingly become a target for other inmates who remember Stephen’s killing and how long it took to bring two of the killers to justice.
During the Stephen Lawrence murder trial, defence lawyer Stephen Batten QC said Norris had been beaten up several times while on remand in prison.
He told jurors at the Old Bailey that on one occasion his client’s nose was broken, his teeth were knocked out and four of his ribs were broken.
According to The Mirror, the 40-year-old alleges he was attacked by Leon Fyle, 28, another convicted murderer.
Legal papers obtained by the newspaper say that Norris claims Fyle and two other black inmates attacked him with a knife and a sock filled with tins, although no charges were brought against anyone related to the assault.
Norris says he was found covered in blood in his cell and needed hospital treatment for a broken nose and ribs as well as suffering from anxiety resulting in him taking antidepressants and psychiatric treatment.
Norris was issued with an “Osman” warning – a legal alert that his life was under threat – eight days after he was arrested for Stephen’s murder in September 2010.
He claims that prison officials left him vulnerable by moving him to a section of the jail with a “large number of black inmates who had shown a propensity towards violence”. He said there was no officer positioned near his cell despite this.
The killer also claimed he predicted he would be attacked by Fyle the day before the attack in February 2011.
The MoJ alleges that Norris was at fault for using “intemperate words and behaviour towards the alleged assailants” and having a “manner which was wrongly confrontational and risky”.
They also say that Norris must prove the attack took place and the identity of his assailants.
Leon Fyle was on remand awaiting trial accused of strangling transgender prostitute Destiny Lauren, when he is said to have attacked David Norris in Belmarsh prison.
Fyle was convicted of murdering Destiny Lauren in her home in Kentish Town in 2009. He was given a life sentence, with a minimum of 21 years, at Southwark Crown Court in 2011.
The case against the MoJ is expected to go to trial.