Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

George hopes Dando killer is caught

Barry George, who spent eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando
Barry George, who spent eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando

Barry George, the man who was wrongly jailed and served eight years for Jill Dando's murder, has spoken of his hope to see her killer face justice.

Mr George, 53, who was this week refused legal permission to continue his appeal for compensation, said: "I hope it's in my -lifetime that the real killer is caught."

He told the Sunday Mirror: "A massive cheer went up at Belmarsh Prison when I was cleared but my first thoughts were of her not getting justice and for her family.

"Although I never met Jill Dando she was an innocent woman who was murdered and no person with any conscience could stand there and say they felt no compassion for her and her family."

Miss Dando was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, west London, in April 1999. After his conviction in July 2001, Mr George, of Fulham, was acquitted of killing the 37-year-old BBC presenter at a retrial in August 2008.

He told the newspaper police targeted him because his life was "disposable" and the pressure was on to solve the Crimewatch presenter's high-profile death.

"The real killer is out there -somewhere and the police aren't looking for him," Mr George said.

"They needed someone to plug a hole and I was it. They victimised me and my life was disposable. I couldn't do that to anyone. Even the psychologists said I couldn't do that. I would go to pieces.

"I'm all fingers and thumbs. I couldn't walk up to someone and shoot them. I spill things and I can't even keep my shirt clean. Effectively they tailor-made the case around me."

Hearing this week's Court of Appeal ruling against his legal battle for compensation, Mr George's sister Michelle Diskin said: "We cannot let this go unchallenged. Serving eight years in prison for someone else's crime is not acceptable. Everything was taken from this man when the police started what we believe to be a malicious prosecution."

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