POLICE secretly bugged meetings which they held with Stephen Lawrence’s friend Duwayne Brooks and his lawyers, it has emerged.
In the latest damning revelation about the way Scotland Yard acted following the racist murder, a senior police source was quoted as saying that authorisation had been given for two meetings between Mr Brooks, his legal representatives and investigating officers to be recorded.
Mr Brooks was with Mr Lawrence on the night he was killed in Eltham, south London, in 1993.
Scotland Yard said the claims had been referred to its directorate of professional standards as a matter or urgency.
Mr Brooks’s solicitor Jane Deighton said that official now needed to know what the police had been doing.
She said there was no reason for police to record the meetings which they had themselves requested.
“There is absolutely no rational reason. That is very worrying for Duwayne Brooks and for ourselves because it is quite sinister,” she added.
“Why covertly record a meeting that you have asked for? Why unless it is part of something much bigger, why unless in fact covert recordings were happening of Duwayne Brooks and ourselves in different situations? That is what we want to know.”
The latest claims follow the allegations by former undercover officer Peter Francis that he was tasked with finding intelligence which could discredit Mr Brooks or the Lawrence family and their campaign for justice for their son.
Mr Francis said that information he gathered led to Mr Brooks being arrested and charged in October 1993 before the case was thrown out by a judge as an abuse of process.
The bugged meetings with Mr Brooks and his lawyers were said to have taken place in the offices of solicitors Deighton Guedalla in Islington, north London, in 1999 or 2000.
Ms Deighton said Mr Brooks now needed to know exactly what the police had been doing to him over the past 30 years.
“It does feel that there has been a persistent attempt from 1993 up to these meetings in 1999 – maybe even beyond – to undermine Duwayne Brooks’s reputation. That is horrific,” she said.
“He is now being haunted again by police wrongdoings scattered over the last 30 years that are emerging without warning and they are there to drag him down.”
Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said the force would support a public inquiry into the claims made by Mr Francis.
But the Metropolitan Police chief, who is the most senior police officer in England and Wales, warned that the process could be lengthy.