|Michelle Diskin: Life on the outside for Barry George 16 August 2008|
|Cold case trawl for Jill killer 4 August 2008|
|The woman who stood by Barry George and helped him survive 3 August 2008 - about Dr Susan Young, a clinical and forensic psychologist|
|Barry George's first interview since being freed, by Scott Lomax 2 August 2008
See also Scott's book on this case (reviewed here) available from John Blake Publishing
|Campaigners demand inquiry 2 August 2008|
|George set for £1m award? 2 August 2008|
|George Cleared Of Dando Murder 1 August 2008|
|Appeal successful; conviction unsafe; retrial ordered 15 November 2007|
|Key scientific evidence used to convict Barry George now said to be "of no value" by Forensic Science Service|| 21 June 2007
Fresh appeal in Dando murder case
read more... 20 June 2007
Extended article in Sunday Times Magazine, 29 October 2006
|DCS Hamish Campbell says CCRC's investigation of George case is tantamount to labelling him a liar
Sandra Laville, 7 September 2006
|Disturbing new evidence may reveal a miscarriage of justice in Dando case, by Sophie Goodchild/Jonathan Owen|
|Dando jurors: We have doubts over guilty verdict, 23rd July 2006|
Appeal failure lacks conviction
|Barry George: the first interview in jail, by Don Hale|
Two new witnesses have come forward with testimony that could undermine the police case against the man now serving life for the TV presenter's murder.
Extract from the article...
This could prove crucial. The only forensic evidence that linked George with the murder was a particle from gunshot residue found in his coat pocket. But experts have pointed out that if the officers who searched his flat were armed they would have been covered with residue themselves and could have easily contaminated his clothes.
"Numerous lines of inquiry have been investigated, ranging from interviewing witnesses to commissioning forensic reports," said a spokesman.
New details are also expected to emerge when the BBC screens a documentary about the case on 4 September which reportedly includes interviews with two members of the jury that convicted George....
The man was sweating profusely at the bus stop and looked agitated. When the police learnt the popular television presenter Jill Dando had been murdered fifteen minutes earlier, less than half a mile away, they began to regard him as a suspect. An e-fit was produced (attached). The police eventually realised he could not have played any role in the murder. However, having studied the evidence, S. C. Lomax is sure he has information relevant to the case and is appealing for the man to make contact with him.
A witness (Janet Bolton) who testified at the trial of Barry George, the man convicted of Dando’s murder, claimed she saw the man in the e-fit, walking quickly down Gowan Avenue (the street on which Jill Dando was shot once in the head at between 11:30 and 11:32) between 11:35 and 11:40. A man was seen, by another witness, running “for all his life” across Fulham Palace Road and into Bishops Park very shortly after. Minutes later the man in the e-fit, dubbed ‘Sweating Man’ by police, was seen emerging from the park, sweating in a way consistent with him having run “for all his life.”
There is a little known fact about the case picked up on only by S. C. Lomax: at around 11:40 a man ran through Bishops Park and threw a knife into bushes. Why would a man run, in broad daylight, and throw a knife into bushes when people were around to see him? The only reasonable solution is that he wished to get rid of the knife through fear of being caught in possession of it. This opens up a startling new possibility. If the man who threw the knife was ‘Sweating Man’ who, despite massive publicity, has never come forward and yet who was probably on Gowan Avenue shortly after the murder, then it is possible he saw Jill Dando dying outside her former home and possibly saw the gunman as he made his escape. He might even have witnessed the crime itself.
According to the woman who found Jill’s body, Helen Doble, Jill looked as if she had been stabbed in the head. If ‘Sweating Man’ had a knife in his possession he would fear calling for the police in case they believed he was responsible. In a state of panic he would have quickly walked away, then possibly run “for all his life” and get rid of the knife at the earliest opportunity, look agitated and worried and try and get away from the area as soon as possible.If ‘Sweating man’ saw Jill then it is possible he saw Jill’s killer, who must have only fired the gun minutes before ‘Sweating man’ was seen walking very quickly away. He therefore could possibly be a witness with important information about Jill’s murder. He might even be the key to helping clear Barry George’s name. Studies of the evidence, carried out by S. C. Lomax, raises questions about the safety of George’s conviction.
From S. C. Lomax: “The police might have ended their search for ‘Sweating man’, but I have not. I believe he could potentially have vital information relating to the murder of Jill Dando, which could be of assistance to Barry George’s defence. I would urge him to please make contact with me, in confidence, via my website (www.sclomax.co.uk). There is no danger of him being questioned as a suspect in this case. He is only considered to be a possible witness.”For further details please contact S. C. Lomax at firstname.lastname@example.org
In April 1999 ‘Sweating man’ appeared to be in his late thirties. He was between 5’9” and 5’10” tall, was of medium build and had a round face. He had thick, dark hair and was clean-shaven. His complexion was dark, giving him a slight foreign appearance. He had large, dark eyes and there were marks upon the bridge of his nose, which are consistent with him having worn a pair of ill-fitting spectacles. It is probable he lived in the Fulham area of London in April 1999, or nearby.
Barry did not kill Jill Dando says his uncle
Limerick Leader Exclusive
THE Limerick uncle of the convicted murderer of BBC television presenter Jill Dando said this Thursday that he is still convinced his nephew is innocent and will win an appeal against his life sentence.
Michael Bourke - who is living in East Limerick - said he is continuing "the fight for justice" for his 45-year-old nephew Barry George who is serving a life in top security HMP Whitemoor, Cambridge "for a crime which he never committed".
Speaking exclusively to the Limerick Leader, Michael Bourke said the case is currently being reviewed by the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) in London and he believes that new evidence which has come to light since the trial will free his nephew.
"It was suggested that the killing was unplanned. But it has come to light that Jill was expecting a visit that day at her Fulham home. This open the possibility that Jill's plans for the day were not as unanticipated as we were led to believe," said Michael.
"Barry has never confessed. He is not mad and there is no weapon, no eye-witness or DNA evidence to link him to the killing. In over four years of visiting him, he has said or done nothing which would make me doubt his innocence," Michael said this week.
BBC Crimewatch UK presenter, Jill Dando was shot dead as she arrived in her Fulham home, South West London on March 26, 1999*.
After an intense police investigation - Operation Oxborough - costing over €2m, Barry George was arrested and found guilty of murdering the TV personality in July 2001, in a case which garnered massive media scrutiny.
"I visit him about five times a year and went to the prison along with his mother, Margaret in March. It is five years this week since he was first arrested and we are hoping to have the case overturned. Hopefully the CCRC will bring the case forward to the Court of Appeal," said Michael.
Michael will return to visit his nephew in the next month. "It is a long time since he was last in Limerick. It would have been about 1974. We would have been good friends and seen a lot of each other when we were younger. He is a very introverted person. When we visit him, he only wants to talk about the outside world. He has got a bit heavy due to the food, but does not want to talk about life in prison, He is doing ok - he just wants to get out," said Michael.
"It is tough on my sister. She has to travel over 100 miles on the tube, in taxis and trains to visit her son in prison. She visits him as much as she can," said Michael.
The 'Justice for Barry George Campaign' is gaining momentum and Michael has received messages of support from Minister for Defence, Willie O'Dea and Fine Gael Deputy, Dan Neville along with several MPs and Paddy Joe Hill - one of the six men wrongly convicted for the 1974 IRA Birmingham pub bombing.
Michael Bourke believes that adverse publicity affected any chance his nephew had of a fair trial and believes there is a real possibility that Dando may have been shot dead in a case of mistaken identity.
During the 2001 trial, defence attorney Michael Mansfield told jurors that there was evidence that Dando had been assassinated by a professional Yugoslavian hit man. He suggested that her death was caused in retaliation for NATO bombings in Belgrade. His claim was further supported by a National Intelligence Crime Service report.
Mansfield also told jurors that there were threatening phone calls made to the BBC following Dando's death from a caller with a foreign accent and had referred to Dando's murder as an act of revenge.
"This is a strong case. It has been said that a professional hit man would not make such a basic mistake as killing the wrong person. That is nonsense. Just last weekend, an SAS trained hit man was jailed for 30 years for a hit in which the wrong man was mistakenly shot dead.
"There are strong elements surrounding Jill Dando's death to suggest the same thing and we will keep on fighting to prove this and have Barry George freed," said a defiant Michael Bourke.
*Note: Jill was actually shot on 26 April 1999 not 26 March.
13 October 2002
The first interview in jail
By Don Hale
Prisoner FF5227 shuffles into the crowded visiting room at Whitemoor Prison dressed in a white T-shirt, blue jeans and trainers.
He seems confused, and it takes two prison warders to usher him to the red plastic seat opposite me. All the time we talk his eyes are transfixed by the security cameras constantly scanning the room.
Leaning forward he whispers: "They're watching me, they're always watching me."
He's sweating profusely, nervous and clearly angry.
But it is still hard to believe that this is the man who forced Jill Dando to her knees then shot her in the head with a modified 9mm handgun.
Yet Barry George was found guilty of the murder of Jill on the doorstep of her London home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, three years ago - a conviction that was upheld by the Appeal Court in July.
Now in his first prison interview since he was jailed for life George, 42, shows worrying symptoms of a man on the verge of a mental breakdown. He consistently repeats that he is innocent - but is also convinced he will die in prison at the hands of an assassin.
"It is just a matter of time before I am killed," he says. "I think somebody in the underworld killed Jill and now they want to silence me. I think I will die in prison. Somebody will have me done away.
"I never shot Jill, never did it, but I don't think people in authority want to know. They would rather I die and the whole thing go away.
"I keep telling them that I didn't do it and that somebody in the underworld was responsible, but they just don't want to know or help me.
"They want to keep me quiet. Someone wants to do me in. They don't want the case reopened. I've been told to watch my back in here."
George is now rocking back and forth in his seat muttering "my papers, my papers". I am told he is upset because he wanted to bring a bundle of legal papers to our meeting, but was advised it was against the rules. It might seem trivial, but it is a subject he keeps returning to for the next 15 minutes.
For eight years I campaigned to free Stephen Downing, wrongly jailed for the Bakewell Tart murder in 1974 and finally freed last year.
And as I talk to this shambling figure, I keep asking myself the same question: Is this man a killer?
George is now clean shaven and he admits to putting on two stone since his arrest two years ago. His face is fleshy and he often pats his bulging stomach. He also complains of a sharp pain in his side and blames prison doctors for what he claims was a botched hernia operation last year.
But George cannot focus on any subject for more than a minute. He constantly looks over his shoulder as if expecting a warder to call his name.
It is easy to understand why the police said he was evasive and unsure of his answers when they questioned him.
George is depressed after his failed appeal and cannot believe he is still in jail. Naively, he thinks that by simply repeating he is innocent the prison doors will open up for him.
But more than anything, George is obsessed by the belief that he will die violently. "I don't like to let the warders out of my sight because somebody might do me," he says. "I feel there is a contract out on my head and one of the prisoners is just waiting for the right time to strike.
"A few come up to me in the dinner queue and say 'watch your back mate, they are after you'. Lots of the prisoners liked Jill and blamed me for murdering her."
George says he has received fewer threats since his appeal, and other prisoners have told him that Jill was the victim of a professional hit.
"Lots have come up to me and said 'we know you didn't do it, murder Jill'. They believe me now. Before, I was always getting threatened. They used to call me scum and spit in my tea. Now the other prisoners have been better with me. I've got some credibility.
"A few have said it was definitely someone from the underworld. But nobody listens at all. They don't want to know."
The worst time for George was the 12 months he spent in Belmarsh Prison, South East London, while he was waiting for his appeal and before his transfer to Whitemoor in March, Cambridgeshire,
"That was hell," he says. "I was terrified. I really thought I was dead. I kept my head down, never spoke to anybody.
"I used to see the big guys staring at me, trying to get my attention. I never looked, not once.
"Some of them used to spit in my food and call me names. I just left the food and went back to my cell. I was so frightened, I tried to be by the warders all the time."
At Belmarsh, George saw Lord Archer, who was convicted of perjury last year. In his controversial diaries, Archer writes that a fellow inmate called Gordon told him: "That's Barry George, who's just been done for killing Jill Dando."
Archer adds:"I don't tell him that Jill was an old friend - we both hail from Weston-super-Mare. For the first time in my life, I keep my own counsel."
George remembers seeing Archer during a 45-minute exercise break at the jail. "I saw him across the exercise yard during one of our rest periods when we are allowed out," he says.
"He just stared at me for a bit. I didn't say anything, but I was quite glad he was in Belmarsh. The fact he was there took some of the heat off me. The others were nudging each other and saying 'that's Archer'. I didn't care - at least they weren't hassling me."
At Whitemoor, George is allowed few visitors because of his high security status. Even his elderly mother Margaret is searched when she makes the long journey from her home in Acton, West London.
"But I don't like my family seeing me here," he says. "It is too much for them."
He spends his days in his tiny single cell on C-Wing reading and re-reading his case papers or watching TV. His favourite programme is Top of the Pops.
George suffers from learning difficulties which means it is hard for him to understand his legal papers. Nevertheless, he shows amazing dedication and now has a detailed understanding of the prosecution case against him. As I listen to him I find myself thinking: "This man is innocent. He didn't kill Jill."
I am more convinced than ever that the evidence against him is circumstantial and he, like Stephen Downing, was the wrong person in the wrong place.
There are three key areas of doubt in the prosecution case that George highlighted.
The prosecution says eyewitnesses put him in Gowan Avenue; an alibi that he was at a disabled charity at the time of Jill's murder is false; and a speck of gunpowder found in his coat ties him to a possible murder weapon.
Despite the eyewitness evidence George insists they got the wrong man. "The only witness said she saw me at 7am," he says. "I was still in bed. I don't get up until about 9am. It wasn't me. People know me in that area, but it wasn't me."
George is angry that the judge allowed 12 other people who were not 100 per cent sure they had identified him to give evidence putting him at the scene.
He also believes that police ID parades were unreliable because they took place a year after the murder.
"I was clean shaven at the time Jill was killed," he says. "By the time I went on parade I had longer hair and a goatee beard. I looked completely different and I was told to wear a coat. That was ridiculous.
"On the day Jill was murdered I was wearing a yellow fluorescent T-shirt. It was very bright. How could they miss me if I was there? And there were so many different descriptions. There was one of a man of Mediterranean appearance (shown in a police e-fit). He has never been traced. They got it wrong."
George claims it was impossible for him to have killed Jill because he had an alibi. The Crimewatch presenter was shot at about 11.32am. And if George's version is true, he couldn't have been at the scene.
George says that at the time he was at a charity office, the Hammersmith and Fulham Action For Disability, which is a mile from Jill's home.
"The place was still locked at 10am and I had to knock on the door so they could let me in," he says. "I had to see someone, and they only see people by appointment. They let me in and I spoke with about four people there. I remember one of the staff eating a sandwich, and being passed from person to person.
"They considered me a nuisance, but finally I saw someone. I told them my problem. I had to talk to someone. I was there for about two hours."
George says on the day of the murder he also crossed a busy road in front of a speed camera.
"It went off six or seven times taking pictures of speeding cars. Surely it photographed me?
However, the Old Bailey jury was told that staff at the disability centre could not agree on what time George had been there. And it was decided that George had the "window of opportunity" to shoot Jill and escape. The forensic evidence - a tiny speck of gunpowder found in George's coat pocket - played a damning part in his conviction. But he is adamant it was contaminated at a police lab or came from an armed officer he says raided his flat in Crookham Road, Fulham.
The Metropolitan Police have always insisted armed officers were NEVER at his flat. But the Sunday Mirror has revealed how two eyewitnesses - one a vicar - have now come forward and told how they saw armed officers the day he was arrested. But police say they are wrong.
"I saw the armed officers with my own eyes," says George. "They were there. There were a couple of them. One had a big gun, a sort of sten gun. They hit me over the head with it."
George leans forward and shows me an 8in scar under his cropped hair. He says it is evidence his story is true and his sister Michelle Diskin wants an inquiry to prove it.
The Metropolitan Police claim that video footage of George being interviewed prove he was unhurt.
Interviewing George is a frustrating task. He is like a caged animal constantly fidgeting and demanding attention.
George has at least six personality disorders and is an epileptic. He claims his defence team feared the stress of giving evidence at the Old Bailey would bring on a seizure.
"That's why I didn't give evidence," he says."My lawyers thought I would be sectioned if I had an epileptic fit in the dock. I really regret not saying anything now. If I'd spoken, I think the jury would have known I was telling the truth."
George admits that he took some flowers to Gowan Avenue after hearing about the murder. And he says he told police at the scene he had seen a suspicious man.
"They took down my name and address," he says. "But is my action that of a guilty man?"
He admits that he expected to be questioned by police because of a conviction for attempted rape in 1982 when he was jailed for 33 months.
"They knew about that. It was on their records. I would be an obvious person to pick up. I expected to be seen. That's why I went back to the disability centre the day after to check they knew me as I didn't want anybody setting me up because of the other stuff."
George is also frank about his unusual habit of roaming the streets from dawn to dusk. "People knew me on the streets, I talked to loads of people. I used to walk all the time, everywhere. I was familiar and I would have been picked out."
He finishes his sentence and tucks into two Mars Bars bought from the nearby canteen. Nearby, young children shriek in a family area of the visiting room.
At our grey plastic table, George is unaware of the uphill fight he faces to overturn his conviction.
At his appeal the judges concluded: "Looking at the evidence as a whole we have no doubt as to the correctness of the conviction."
But in a week the Criminal Cases Review Commission will be asked to reconsider the evidence and the case could be referred back to the Appeal Court.
I visited George with Paddy Hill, one of the Birmingham Six freed after being wrongly jailed in 1976 for two IRA pub bombings.
He set up the Miscarriage of Justice Organisation to fight for people like George who believe they have been wrongly jailed.
As George returned to our table after wandering off for the umpteenth time Paddy asks: "Is this man capable of planning and killing Jill Dando in cold blood?"
Then he answers his own question: "You wouldn't send him to Tesco," he said.
I have to agree.