Barry George says his 'conscience is clear' over Jill Dando murder

Ben Arnold
Contributor

Barry George, the man who was wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, has said that he was jailed ‘on no sound evidence’.

He also said that his ‘conscience is clear’ over Dando’s murder, which remains unsolved.

George has been interviewed for a new ITV documentary, airing tonight, exploring the high-profile case 20 years on.

Dando, who presented the BBC’s Crimewatch and a host of other programmes, was shot dead the her doorstep of her house in South London on April 26, 1999.

Barry George (Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA)

Though George was arrested, and then jailed for the crime in 2001, he was acquitted at a retrial seven years later.

“There are probably a select few people who may think, ‘Okay, he’s been through the case. He’s got off on a technicality, probably, or whatever,’” he tells ITV.

“But my conscience was clear – I knew I hadn’t done it. I find it sad that they done what they’ve done to me and that they didn’t have no sound evidence. The truth of the real killer is somewhere out there, you know.”

Jill Dando (Credit: PA)

George, who had previous convictions for indecent assault and attempted rape, has received no compensation for being wrongly convicted of Dando’s murder, because the Ministry of Justice ruled that he has not proved his innocence.

It was doubt over gunshot residue evidence presented at George’s retrial that led to his acquittal.

“Former commander of the police John O’Connor, he even turns turns round and makes a statement, ‘Excellent leads of the Jill Dando case were never followed up. The Met, though, just shut their eyes to everything else once they had nicked poor Barry George,’” George added.

“To be questioned about a murder and you haven’t done it… Just somewhat overwhelming. And just absolute ludicrous. You know, it just beggars belief.”

Barry George (Credit: AP)

The programme also looks at failures of Operation Oxborough, the investigation into Dando’s death, to adequately explore leads linking her murder to threats called in by an unidentified man to the BBC, relating to the NATO bombings in Serbia during the Balkan War.

Intelligence reports suggest that the killing of Dando, a high-profile personality who had appeared three weeks before her murder as the face of a charity appeal for Kosovan refugees, was done in revenge.

The documentary reveals that another anonymous call made to the BBC after Dando’s death appeared to be taking responsibility for the murder.

Jill Dando – The 20 Year Mystery airs on ITV at 9pm tonight.