Thursday, April 15, 1999 Published at 18:31 GMT 19:31 UK
Police offer Lawrence family compensation
There was a noisy protest outside Talk Radio's central London studio
The family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence have reportedly been offered up to £100,000 by the Metropolitan Police as compensation for its flawed investigation.
A spokesman said: "We are in negotiations with the solicitors acting for the Lawrence family regarding an appropriate ex-gratia payment to them, but we are not prepared to discuss the matter further at this stage."
In the wake of last month's Macpherson report - which criticised several aspects of the initial police investigation into Stephen Lawrence's murder - the family's solicitor, Imran Khan, warned the police they would be sued unless they came up with compensation.
'I didn't do it'
Gary Dobson, who was acquitted at the Old Bailey of murdering Stephen, categorically denied any involvement in the 18-year-old's death.
About 40 anti-racist demonstrators, including film director Mike Figgis, picketed Talk Radio's offices in Oxford Street but were unable to prevent the programme going ahead.
He said they had consulted a firm of solicitors but had been told that there was a gap between the evidence and the public perception.
'Public belief is so strong'
"But the public belief was so strong that we probably would not have won or, if we had, would not have won enough to make it worthwhile."
She said: "Mr Dobson was not paid for appearing on the programme. No money was asked for and none was paid."
Mr Lawrence said the station had been unconcerned about his family's feelings.
He said: "It seems to me that there is nothing that people won't do simply to highlight their own programme."
'Rewarded for his vicious behaviour'
"We cannot and will not allow Dobson to become some kind of media celebrity and reap rewards for his vicious behaviour."
Gary Dobson is one of three men - along with Luke Knight and Neil Acourt - who have already faced trial for Stephen's murder and cannot be charged again.
Technically, the other two chief suspects - Jamie Acourt and David Norris - could still be prosecuted.
They first spoke publicly last week when interviews with them were screened by the new ITV current affairs programme, Tonight.
Mr Dobson denied that any of the five had been involved in the murder, saying they were just "rascals, lovable rogues".