George wins appeal against Dando conviction

Barry George, the man convicted of killing BBC presenter Jill Dando in 1999, has won an appeal against his conviction.


Dando was shot and killed on the doorstep of her London home on the morning of 26 April 1999. George, a nearby resident, was arrested in connection with the murder on 25 May 1999 and charged four days later.  

George was convicted of Dando's murder in 2001. The conviction rested largely on prosecution evidence given by forensic experts who said that a microscopic particle of firearm residue found in the lining of a pocket of George's coat could likely have come from the firearm used in the Dando's shooting.

The prosecution failed to take into account factors such as contamination of the evidence given the period in which George's coat was in police custody. George bought much of his clothes from Army outlet stores and the residue may also have come from a past owner of the coat.

Forensic standards have since changed and during the appeal the same witnesses said that it was no more likely that it came from a gun fired by bg than from any other source. Lord Chief Justice therefore found that George's original conviction was unsafe.

Additional factors point to George's innocence. In a recent television documentary about the Dando murder, psychologists said that George had a very low IQ, too low to have the capacity to plan Dando's murder with the precision with which it was carried out.

Bail was not applied for and George remains in prison. A retrial will be announced.