An Ex-Scotland Yard detective who finally got justice for the family of Stephen Lawrence was presented with an honorary degree by Stephen’s mother, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, on the final day of De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Winter Graduations today.
Clive Driscoll, who had a 35-year career with the Metropolitan Police Service, was given an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his persistent pursuit of the truth in the Stephen Lawrence murder case.
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In a poignant moment, Stephen Lawrence’s mother, DMU Chancellor Baroness Doreen Lawrence, was present at the ceremony to present him with his scroll in front of hundreds of graduands from DMU’s Faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities.
In an embrace with Baroness Lawrence, Mr Driscoll accidentally knocked off her cap and joked that he had ‘probably just become the first doctor to assault Baroness Lawrence’.
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Mr Driscoll took on the Stephen Lawrence case in 2006, 13 years after Stephen’s brutal murder. He found ‘acres’ of boxed-up paperwork and discovered that crucial information had been incorrectly processed, so along with his team he transferred data from hundreds of case-files to police computers.
After half a decade of tireless investigation, and in spite of some resistance from within the police itself, he ensured justice for Stephen with two murder convictions.
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“I’m very humbled and very proud to receive this honorary degree,” Mr Driscoll said. “It’s a real honour and I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. It means everything to me.
“Baroness Lawrence is an icon and it’s a privilege to know her. People don’t realise how much she’s done for this country.”
During his police career, Mr Driscoll also led high-profile units at Scotland Yard, and was in charge of their policy for sexual offences, domestic violence, child protection and the paedophile unit, before heading the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force.
Mr Driscoll’s citation, which was read out at the ceremony, concluded: “Across long, testing years Clive Driscoll honoured Stephen Lawrence through tireless, fearless duty, and worked to turn institutional failure into justice served.
“For his inspiring diligence and dedication, compassion and commitment, in a career serving and protecting the public good, we honour him today.”
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In a speech to the watching graduands and their families, he recounted the arduous process of securing justice for Stephen and paid tribute to the ‘unbelievable support’ that he received from the Lawrence family and his police colleagues.
He congratulated the students on their achievement and thanked them for allowing him to be part of their day. His simple message to DMU graduates was one that reflected his own values of perseverance, justice and public good.
“Keep going and use truth as your god. Education is a privilege so use it well.”
Posted on Thursday 24th January 2019