View Full Version : Did Barry George REALLY kill Jill Dando ?

3rd Jul 2001, 19:25
I'm surprised at the outcome of the verdict of the Jill Dando trial. Barry George has been found guilty of murder, almost entirely based on circumstantial evidence.

Forensic evidence;

1 speck of gunshot residue found in George's jacket, and 1 fibre found at the scene that was claimed to come from his trousers. There have been photo's taken of him in the past with a pistol, photo's of him playing at being in the SAS. Maybe he'd fired a gun years ago, and that was the one speck of residue left over. This speck, to put it into context is too small to be seen with the naked eye. There is no way of knowing that this speck came from the shot that killed Dando. The defence claimed that the fibre found at the crime scene would probably exist on most peoples clothing. It was not an unusual fibre.

Neither of these two bits of evidence link George to the crime scene.

Circumstantial evidence;

Eyewitnesses saw George near Dando's home in the hours before she was killed. This is not overly surprising, since he lived 500yds down the road. When his flat was searched, magazines were found which showed he was fascinated with guns and celebrities. So what, a lot of people will be, but it doesn't make them murderers. The police also found copies of the BBC's in-house newspaper, published after Dando's murder and featuring her picture on the front. Why should this mean anything? If I lived just down the road from a celebrity, who was then murdered, I might keep a magazine which covers her life/the story for a year.

No one actually saw the killer. There is no actual evidence to link him to the crime scene. There was no forensic evidence left behind, except the one fibre. I would expect that when they had arrested the suspect, the police would be able to find something. The photo from in his flat show a real mess and a lot of rubbish. He clearly didn't live a clean and ordered life, so how did he manage to commit murder just down the road, ensure that no forensic evidence was left, no witnesses, and no real connection between him and the crime?

The story in the paper which gives a background picture of George is that of a strange, weird and not natural person. He's stalked women, pestered hundreds and has served time for attempted rape. This is a sick person, but is he a murderer? To be found guilty, the jury have to decide that he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. I don't see how they can have decided this.

Of course the family, friends and public want justice for her murder, but what justice is there in jailing the wrong person? If he did it(and even if he didn't), he's mentality suits that he be locked away. However if he didn't, what justice is there is locking 'any old bad person' away to give the revenge/compensation that people are demanding.

3rd Jul 2001, 19:50
In answer to the question contained in the topic


Now can we just let this go away quietly please. Justice (the best in the world) has been done. Just drop it.

3rd Jul 2001, 20:11

Why do we have an appeals court, and an appeals procedure? We have it because the courts and jurys can make mistakes. I have absolutly no connection or real interest in this case. However, reading the details that were presented at the trial, and reading the information in the papers for over a month, it's clear that this is a not an easy case, it's also one that will almost certainly go to appeal.

I can only assume that you are personally interested in this case, and I am sorry if questioning a jurys decision offends you. However, as I said above, what justice is there in jailing the wrong person?

You splitter
3rd Jul 2001, 20:48
Man on the Fence....

What did ICE do to solicit a response like that? Never thought Id hear myself say this but I agree with him. Personally I reckon it's probable that he did do it. But thats just a gut feeling because I think he's the type, which has no real place in a court room. The instruction to the jury, as always, is; if you have doubts as to if the defendant commited this crime, then the verdict should be not guilty. I'm not saying he didn't do it, I just don't see any evidence, from any media source, of the prosectution actually proving he did.
The fact he should be in jail anyway is not the point. And if you don't like the subject or topic, then don't read it or reply to it. Simple.

Send Clowns
3rd Jul 2001, 21:00
I don't know, Ice-Ice-baby. I have not seen all the available evidence. Neither have you. Eleven people who had thought he did. Their judgement is probably more sound than yours, isn't it?

Big Red ' L '
3rd Jul 2001, 21:05
I don't think he done it. Just because he is a weirdo doesn't mean hes a killer. As said previous, the circumstantial evidence is not too good. Also, there are no witnesses at all to the crime, just people who noticed him in the area, which is incidently where he lived.

The real issue here is there maybe someone walking around now laughing his socks off at the decision who is capable of doing it again.

3rd Jul 2001, 21:06
I'm with SC ....

3rd Jul 2001, 21:20
Don't know anything about this one, but Big Red says "people who saw him ... in the area.. which is where he lived". Exactly what I postulated in the Great Jury Service Debate with TG months ago! (TG, not that I want to stir up that,or any, wasps' nest).

tony draper
3rd Jul 2001, 21:25
Its a tragety when any young woman is killed in this manner, but because it was one of the media's own we have had to listen to endless crap about this case, the drivel that was spouted by the media the day it happened was only equalled by the drivel we had to listen to on the news yesterday.
It looks like since Princess Di's death,the media will promote any of their own into the sainthood.
As I said a tradgety,but I wishthe media would cut the crap.

3rd Jul 2001, 21:52
You Splitter

My reply was succinct and too the point. I was merely saying what I think. I dont think it contained anything too offensive.


Ah I get it, if someone is found guilty they must be innocent, especially if it was by a majority verdict and even better if it was a difficult decision. Oh and I loved your sarcasm about me being personally involved in the case.

A Jury of his peers have found him guilty, on the evidance presented too them. Thats good enough for me.

Cisco Kid
3rd Jul 2001, 22:35
He should have used O.J Simpsons defence team!Blood ,Dna,Hair etc. + fleeing the scene & old O.J. still breathes the air of freedom ,a celebrity accused of a crime rather than a celebrity as a victim,Hmmmm !

3rd Jul 2001, 23:32
OJ is guilty and so is Barry George, as someone pointed out a jury saw some of the evidence and took it's job very seriously. Some of the evidence was inadmissable but it all points in his direction.
There are too many coincidences and I simply do not believe in coincidences. Sure the evidence was sketchy but without a confession and or an eyewitness it's always difficult. It took so long for the Police to get their act together that any forensics must have been diluted.
In any case the man was a menace it was only a matter of time before he did something like that to someone.
Justice was done in this case.

By the way Ice you are not 'surprised' at the result, this is but merely a device to stir a debate.

[This message has been edited by Steepclimb (edited 03 July 2001).]

gul dukat
4th Jul 2001, 00:59
Best Justice in the world eh? Try selling that to the Guildford four ...the Birmingham six ...and anyone else who has benefited from it!! Is a jury REALLY qualified to pass a verdict after all they ARE just ordinary joes like you and me ..and I need help with most things legal! Maybe the time has arrived to dispense with jury trial and lets have a panel of judges ! awaits incoming!!

I 'ad that lord Hailsham in the back of me cab once!

[This message has been edited by gul dukat (edited 03 July 2001).]

[This message has been edited by gul dukat (edited 03 July 2001).]

Tartan Gannet
4th Jul 2001, 01:16
Funny enough Davaar, I have my doubts about this case and am very glad that I was NOT a juror, ( and subject to the rules of the English Jury system), in this particular matter.

A pity the good old Scots "Not Proven" verdict was not available in R v George aka Bulsara.

BTW I did have a large Malt and raise my glass to you Davaar and even to U_R (where is he these days?)

:) :) :)

4th Jul 2001, 02:04
Based upon past history Guildford 4 etc etc do you seriously think that the PCS would have let the case go forward to trial based upon such a small (size) piece of evidance if the DIDN'T think that it was enough to convict the killer?

They are (I am reliably informed by a Policeman friend of mine) very cautious about going to trial if there is any doubt about the result nowadays.

The case was very high profile (but had to my mind dropped out of the public view), failure was not an option. They had already taken a year, a bit more time wouldnt have mattered.

Had I been on the jury and heard ALL the evidance, I have no idea how I would have voted, but based upon what I have read and heard Justice was done.

Its very interesting to hear, after the verdict of course, exactly what his past was. Roller blading over busses????

4th Jul 2001, 02:38
gul, one of the things to which a lot of (alleged) friends of the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6 have been objecting is precisely what you suggest - judges sitting in criminal courts without juries. They're called "Diplock" Courts.

gul dukat
4th Jul 2001, 02:57
Hug I know what you are saying but surely the point about a diplock court is the fact that there is only ONE judge ...hence my plea for a panel ...to afford balance ..The principle of twelve good men and true seems a little suspect sometimes ...I believe if I were on a jury listening to some high powered briefs I would think"I" done it ....they don't get all that huge salary for nowt!!

Mr Creosote
4th Jul 2001, 05:42
Much as I'd like to think they've got the right guy, the evidence that has been made public does seem incredibly shaky. The question I have is, if, as Send Clowns suggests, there is other evidence presented to the jury that indicates that George is the killer beyond reasonable doubt, why has this crucial information not been made public along with the "speck" of gunshot residue?

Tartan Gannet
4th Jul 2001, 11:37
I feel that this case illustrates the severe doubts I have in the English Trial System as detailed at great length ad nauseum in the now defunct thread on Trial By Jury which generated a lot of heat but very little light. It did confirm my own reservations. In the end, stripping off all the side issues it boiled down to two standpoints. That of the Lawyers, especially those learned in the English Law who like this system, and that of some ordinary laymen who dont.

After the verdict the background of George was disclosed to the Jury and sure enough he was a real villain. Now I have always felt that the Jurors should have ALL the facts and should judge the MAN not merely the CRIME in isolation. (This point was the Roman Dutch Law Vs Common Law aspect that Mac The Knife posted as I recall) Now I know only too well that the Lawyers will throw their hands up in holy horror at that idea, though I believe that the previous Home Secretary Jack Straw wanted disclosure of the accused's "previous" to the Jurors at a trial where this was relevant to offence in question, but it remains to be seen if Blunkett will back this idea.

Using the present system then the small piece of forensic evidence and the unbagging of George's jacket for photography COULD have led to its contamination and seems to give him grounds for an appeal.

Finally, I had a wry laugh when the Trial Judge intoned the ritual words to the Jury of "putting all emotion out of your minds, ignoring what they had read in the papers, and of course NOT discussing the trial with non jurors" I wonder if the jurors could perform these mental gymnastics or like most ordinary people they followed their own judgements on these points? Certainly the British Media had done Barry George no favours in their converage before the trial.

I imagine I will get legalistic flaming for these thoughts, perhaps some Latin, no doubt quotes from long dead judges and their cases of yesteryear, (as far back as Justinian perhaps?) but I must say that Im glad I do not live in Fulham and thus was in no danger of being empanelled for this particular trial. I know from what I had read and heard in the media that I would have gone into the trial if a juror already feeling that George was guilty and would have had to have been swayed by the weakeness of the Prosecution Case, an inversion of the attitude a juror is supposed to adopt in theory.

Did Barry George kill Jill Dando? Possibly, but that isnt really good enough to convict him and my strongest reservation is the lack of apparent motive.

(TG slopes off to a Lodge Meeting to avoid the incoming Exocets from "M' Learned Friends")

4th Jul 2001, 14:01
Miscarriages of justice do occur. To a certain extent, that is why we have appeals procedures.

Our legal system is not perfect - but then the same is true of any country. For example, I don't agree with the removal of the right of silence. I do agree with the presumption of innicence, and criminal convictions based upon proof beyond a reasonable doubt. I would not be a supporter of disclosing the accused's past to a jury prior to their deliberations. I firmly believe that cameras have to be kept out of courtrooms - that is one of the things that led to the three-ring circus of a trial of OJ Simpson. I also believe one of the weaknesses of the American justice system is DA's being subject to election.

In this case, the jury were convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that George killed Dando. That's good enough for me (for now).

[This message has been edited by HugMonster (edited 04 July 2001).]

Stiff Lil' Fingers
4th Jul 2001, 14:33
My understanding is that the judge originally wanted a unanimous decision but subsequently agreed to accept a majority verdict when all the jurors could not agree. I think the accepted verdict 10-1.

I agree that alot of the evidence was circumstantial and absence of a clear motive must have made it very difficult for the jurors to reach a consensual decision.

Since I have not heard the evidence first hand I am unable to say for sure what my view of likely innocence/guilt is. I tend to believe that he is guilty but this is based on gut feel and probably largely influenced by media coverage and subsequent revelations re his attempted rape conviction. Regardless, clearly he is a nutjob who needs professional help.

It will be interesting to see what happens during his appeal.

[This message has been edited by Stiff Lil' Fingers (edited 04 July 2001).]

I'd rather
4th Jul 2001, 19:37
I didn't follow the trial closely enough to have an informed opinion on it - but I've got a bit of a funny feeling about this one.

I got the impression (and it is JUST an impression) that his lawyers genuinely believe he's innocent, which I thought was interesting. I'll pay more attention to the appeal.

4th Jul 2001, 19:41
So how do you prove something "beyond all reasonable doubt" ?

There is almost always going to be an alternative explanation of events - OK, perhaps "maybe aliens did it" doesn't qualify as _reasonable_ doubt but in the absence of really compelling direct evidence most case will be subject to some level of doubt, won't they ?

4th Jul 2001, 21:30
Tartan, I am older now. I do not claim wiser, but older, and the days draw shorter. I also know you better, too, and if you think I am going to offer you a word of, or on, Justinian in Latin or English, you believe in the Tooth Fairy. You intellectual sophists are all the same. I am not even going to mix with Hug Monster save to say that I met Lord Diplock many years ago. I think he did not like me much, and for my part I took some satisfaction from his wearing what seemed to me blue suede shoes. Obedient to Elvis, I stayed "off of" them, so no incident was provoked; not from the shoes anyway. I could be wrong on both counts. Consult Mr Justice Mac Knife on comparative law.

[This message has been edited by Davaar (edited 04 July 2001).]

Send Clowns
4th Jul 2001, 22:26
My biggest query with the 'not guilty' side to the debate is why they expect a lot of forensic evidence in this case. The murderer walked up to Jill Dando and shot her, then walked away. Month later Barry George was arrested. What do you expect? The fact that there is any is indeed a testament to the care of modern forensic science in isolating these tiny scraps in so much of life's clutter.

The size of a piece of evidence is irrelevant (kind of a bizarre consideration, really). It was gunshot residue. It was on BG's clothing. He claimed not to have discharged a firearm. That claim is therefore a lie. If he did not kill JD then why not tell the truth about the origin of the residue?

[This message has been edited by Send Clowns (edited 04 July 2001).]

4th Jul 2001, 22:58
Im not sure I really want to get into this debate but..

You would have to be pretty sure of yourself to fire a single (.22) shot into the head of your target and then just walk away knowing that the target was down and would not be getting back up.

If the assassin doubted his abilities in any way then he could have chosen to..
a) fire more than one round and/or..
b) use a larger calibre weapon.

My personal view on this is that a wierdo with a gun fetish would not be capable of such an act.

Maybe the discharge residue was from the blank firer he was holding in the photo. Blank firers go bang just like the real ones, eject the spent case (if an automatic) and leave discharge residue all over the place in the process. How the heck do you link one particle of discharge residue to a firearm when you dont have either the firearm or the spent case.

Also, some the witness statements described a man of "Mediterranean appearance with thick black hair" !!

You guys draw your own conclusions.

Me? ..I'd rather our gallant policeman put the effort into convicting Paedophiles.

Mac the Knife
4th Jul 2001, 23:05
In "The Noble Bachelor", Sherlock Holmes discusses circumstantial evidence with Dr. Watson. He quotes Henry Thoreau who said, "occasionally very convincing [circumstantial evidence] as when you find a trout in the milk."

(Thoreau was referring to the then common practice of diluting milk with water before selling it)

4th Jul 2001, 23:33

Just for info, he was an (ex??) TA member I believe and a member of a gun club to boot. He had been trained to use them.

Not such a lucky shot methinks.

tony draper
4th Jul 2001, 23:37
I was under the impression it was a 9mm.

Mac the Knife
4th Jul 2001, 23:40
Roger that Smaug. We see an awful lot of facial gunshots often nonfatal. Admittedly I'm not a forensics chappie, but I reckon that to be even moderately sure of a single tap straight kill with a .22 you have to pop 'em square on to the cranium at pretty close range. Not easy for an amateur, tho' I bet Tony Draper could do it.

Me? I'll stick to Glaser Silvers in .38 Special

5th Jul 2001, 01:16
According to the news stuff I heard tony, it was an unsilenced .22

MOF..Im aware that he was ex TA and a gun club member, but were talking Special forces Close Quarter type training for this kind of stuff.

Sorry, but it dont all fit. The real killer is long gone - this guy is an attention seeker.

5th Jul 2001, 01:28
From all the reports I've seen, he simply hid in the bushes outside her house when she came home, leapt out at her, grabbed her, swung her around and put a shot straight into her head by the left ear. Not much "special forces" training needed for that.

5th Jul 2001, 03:41
From what I've read in the papers I have serious doubts about Barry George being guilty, this is One big story (mediawise) that got a lot of attention. all the ingredients were here to create a top notch murder tragedy that would sell BIG. All my sympathy going to friends and family who lost a beloved one but once more media pressure was too intense, it's clear that the team that investigated on this case needed results and quick or else having to face public recognition of their incapacity to deal with this. I'm not talking about inability as I think New Scotland Yard is one of the most effective agency in the world but just one of these few cases in a decade that are unsolvable.
As previously stated: no true forensic evidence / no witnesses / basically no clues.... So the Weirdo leaving round the corner was the perfect suspect, they found their spacegoat and won't leave him alone. Unless some serious new information turn up and re-launch the investigation Barry George will have to serve a jail sentence that he didn't deserve. Who said that justice was fair ?

5th Jul 2001, 04:10
If he was ex TA and member of a gun club, I would have been very surprised if there WASN'T any residue on his clothes. Does anybody know how common gun shot residue is?, would be interesting to know.

To Send Clowns i would like to ask, do you have any Dollar bills?, if so there is a very good chance that there is cocaine residue on them. Does that make you a drug dealer?, probably not, but it would be a bit difficult explaining how it got there.

5th Jul 2001, 04:17
From my extensive research (tele, films, books), a .22 is not unusual for a pro killer but two shots are derigeur. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

[This message has been edited by Rollingthunder (edited 05 July 2001).]

Tartan Gannet
5th Jul 2001, 12:02
Reading all that has been stated herein and the media coverage, I feel the good old Scots "Not Proven" verdict would have been fair. In effect, "we think you (Barry George) did it but we are not sufficiently convinced by the Crown's case against you to declare you Guilty".

(As previously stated passim I have a personal "presumption of guilt" but even this would have been overturned in this case).

5th Jul 2001, 13:16
RollingThunder, One would never use a .22 to kill someone. The bullet is too light and slow to easily kill. Although I would not want to be shot by one, chances are it would not be fatal. The Army presently use the 5.56mm SA80 as their assault rifle. Even this doesn't guarantee a kill, and the target may well be left alive after a single shot. For heavy fire and guaranteed killing they use the 7.62 GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun).

The pistol used to kill Jill Dando was a 9mm short semi-automatic. The murder weapon was never found. A 9mm pistol is the most common pistol used in combat, it fires a heavy bullet(albeit much much slower than a rifle does), and with only a short range.

5th Jul 2001, 13:28
Well, it goes to show how much info we don't have. I thought it was a 9mm, but I've not been following this media circus.

I am very uneasy about the lack of contamination from discharge residue, but if you know what to do, it can be accomplished. However, if you were that meticulous I'm pretty sure you wouldn't use your own clothes.

Apparently .22lr is a favourite weapon to use in close range killing, two or three 40gr bullets to the head is the normal procedure. I was told that some military special ops units use the .32 as it's only a little louder and a lot more powerfull.

All of the above is only what I've heard and as ever, you find lots of experts on the subject after a case like this. So it could all be rubbish.

The one thing I do know, I'm really glad we don't have capital punishment. This is just the kind of case that got the citizens uneasy about it in the first place.

Stay cool, stay longer.

[This message has been edited by max_cont (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 14:02
Icey old bean, the 5.56 or Rem 223 (civil version) is used because it is easy to carry a fairly large number of rounds into battle when compared to 7.62 (Win 308 civil version)
Normal battle range is 300m or less. It was decided that the 7.62 was needlesly over powered in these conditions. Another advantage of the 5.56mm is that it will do a lot of damage to soldiers and will kill or incapacitate that person. If that soldier is wounded, then you remove an additional two soldiers from the battle to look after their comrade.
The gpmg is normally used to suppress enemy fire, ie you keep his head down while the rifle section does a flanking manouver to form up and skirmish through the position.

I assume by 9mm short you mean .380 ACP and not 9mm luger (parabellum) The bullet diameter in both rounds is .355 and bullets from 90gr - 124gr available in both cartridges.

Did the police find a spent case at the scene? Is this how they know exactly what the weapon calibre was? As I said in an earlier post, I've not been following this too closely.

[This message has been edited by max_cont (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 14:20

I read that they found a 9mm cartridge case at the scene.

Hallmark of the pro.........NOT!!!!!!!! :) :)

Can't make my mind up about the case - you would expect a bit more residue that 'just a speck'. Also, was there contamination???

Seems to be a few similarities to the 'Birmingham 6'. Public/Press hysteria, Police under pressure, Public figures jumping around. Then it was Irish, now it seem that society's bogeyman is the lone wierdo.....

On the other hand, leaving a shell case at the scene isn't the hallmark of a 'pro'. And would a pro do anything in daylight??
Surely 400 meteres, silenced sniping rifle. You've all seen 'Day of the jackal'...

Maybe we are all safer with Barry George behind bars. But that doesn't make him guilty.......

PS: I wonder if they'd make so much fuss, unlimited resources etc. if it was one of us plebs and not a public figure..........

Live long and Prosper.....

[This message has been edited by swashplate (edited 05 July 2001).]

tony draper
5th Jul 2001, 15:06
I understand the Israeli secret service Shin Beth? offed most of the perpitrators of the Munich massacre with the .22 colt woodsman, two rounds close quarters in he back of the head got the job done no probs.

Tartan Gannet
5th Jul 2001, 15:38
Swash, yes I felt that too. If an ordinary male white middle aged chap got taken out on his doorstep I somehow doubt that, after the initial flurry, much would happen if the trail was cold and he was only an "nobody".

Looks to me that Barry George fitted the bill and as the lone nutter was a satisfactory instant solution to the "who killed our Golden Girl" tabloid clamour.

I DONT blame the Police but the pressure put on them to "get a result quickly".

5th Jul 2001, 16:25
Swash. thank for the info.

I agree with you. NOT the mark of a pro, I think.

As to the rifle option, well it brings it's own problems.

1: You have to find a place to give you a clear shot. Not easy in a built up area.

2: Assuming it was from an elevated firing point, your impact is going to go high. This can be readily compensated for by a ballistic program or zeroing the rifle from a similar firing point. But still something else to go wrong.

3:You will wake everyone up for miles around.

4:You've then got to egress the area, having woken up the neighbours.

5: If you use a moderator, you can't use ammunition with a muzzle velocity over 1100fps, that's because you will get the sonic crack if you do.

6:If you do try a slow suppressed round, then the tragectory is very parabolic, it's difficult to hit long range targets. Shooting becomes very "hit n miss" no pun intended.

7:You could fire HV ammunition, but then you limit the advantages of a suppressor.

8: This is the grisly bit, when you hit an object that is comprised of flesh etc with a bullet, it makes a loud noise.
A head impact gives a very loud crack, not much quieter than an unsuppressed .22lr.
Torso impacts are not quite as loud and abdomen hits are loud and distinctive, plus don't get the job done quickly.

So all in all, it's more effective to choose a quiet, close range method of assassination. You can then check you have completed your task.

I don't believe in the pro hit theory as I mentioned above, but surely the prosecution had more evidance that that reported on the news.

PS this still just my opinion, for what it's worth
Stay cool, stay longer.

[This message has been edited by max_cont (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 16:30
Interesting stuff, max_cont.

But surely, you'd want to do this at night...

Less people around, body might take longer to be discovered, easier to get away??

Live long and Prosper.....

[This message has been edited by swashplate (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 17:26
Swash, I reckon you'd need to ask a pro to get that answer.

I'm sure there are many ways to do mischief to some poor devil, if you're that kind of person.

Edited because if I didn't, it would break my edit record attempt :)

Stay cool, stay longer.

[This message has been edited by max_cont (edited 05 July 2001).]

5th Jul 2001, 17:50

Anyone know any....??????? :) :)

Live long and Prosper.....

Golden Monkey
5th Jul 2001, 18:00
Ah well, I guess if this had happened in Texas this chap would be on death row right now, with 75% of the population entirely unconvinced of his guilt.

But that's a whole different argument :)

5th Jul 2001, 19:28
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens: "I obviously welcome this verdict. "This was a protracted and complex investigation and the team worked exceptionally hard to present compelling evidence to the jury."

Now from what I've seen and heard, I would not describe this as compelling - in fact, just the opposite.

This case should make people feel uneasy - apart from the fact that the most scanty of evidence has been used to convict him. The specks which supposedly link him to the scene of the crime are highly likely to have been contaminated. The rest is circumstantial at best, the only reason they didn't believe his alibi is because someone who looked like him was in the street at the time of the killing. The specks were found 12months after the killing, and not kept isolated;

Yes, he's a potentially dangerous man, weirdo even - but is that a good reason to assume he could have done this crime.

Mr Justice Gage told George:
"You are unpredictable and dangerous... There can be no doubt that it was premeditated involving some planning ...

Is there no doubt?

Nick Ross stated
'I have no doubt that they were right, given what I know. '

What does he know?

Additionally, is anyone else just a tad over-dosed on sugar from the descriptions of 'Jill Dando TV's Golden Girl'

And Nick Ross' good wishes to this supposedly really dangerous man:
"But I wish him a long, happy and fulfilling life and my heartfelt good wishes go to his family. ' Doesn't anyone else find that just a little strange under the circumstances.

There are too many unanswered questions about this case, which I suspect we will never learn the answers to.

You splitter
5th Jul 2001, 19:49
Maybe the real problem here is the media. Only those twelve members of the jury know exactly what evidence was presented, and they had to base their decision on it. A task I do not envy them.

However as I stated in my first post, from what we have all heard, (from the papers and television) the 'evidence' leaves me as velevt said above "uneasy".
I fail to see how one small speck of gunshot residue is significant evidence. I have not heard one single report of this peice of residue being linked to a particular weapon, or even a particular weapon type. The papers yesterday were full of evidence of his obession with firearms, so theres no real need to think hard were it could have come from. As someone pointed out earlier in this debate, if you have three or four bank notes in your wallet now, the chances are one of them is contaminated with a narcotic. This dosn't make you the perpitrator of the last drug deal to have occured somewhere near you.

When I pick up a paper and read about a conviction, I want to hear good evidence as to why he was convicted. In this case I didn't. It all seemed to just 'fit the bill' nicely though. Nutter, with an unhealthy obession for famous people and firearms, lives not far from famous person who gets shot.

At the end of the day, those twelve people have made their decision based on what they heard in that courtroom, and I will accept that. I just feel uneasy as to wether he was guilty because people thought he was, or because people proved he was.

5th Jul 2001, 19:50
Velvet makes excellent point about sachhrine media coverage. :rolleyes:

Its nearly as bad as when they went overboard on Lady Diana's death. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

Similar angle to my point about 'would-they-bother-if-it-was-us'.

It IS strange that Nick Ross doesn't even seem angry. Forgivness is fine, but isn't it supposed to take time....

Seems to be occuring to many people that this may be a B'ham 6 type 'lets just get someone in jail to appease the baying mob' event.

When the case goes to appeal, some of us may be able to engage [told-you-so] mode!! :) :)

PS: Is Flying Lawyer around? Maybe he has some sage counsel for us all.......

Live long and Prosper.....

[This message has been edited by swashplate (edited 05 July 2001).]

Send Clowns
5th Jul 2001, 22:37
You splitter

The tiny speck is significant evidence because it is gunshot residue. It was found on clothes that Barry George claimed had never been near a gunshot. Therefore it is significant evidence. The size is really irrelevant. If there was any other reasonable source it would never have been presented as evidence. Also if he had regularly discharged firearms as you postulate then a lot more residue would have been found. The point was that he didn't. He had learnt to shoot, but has not admitted doing so recently.


I personally would have been surprised had there been more than 'just a speck' of residue as you suggest. George was arrested months after firing a single shot. How many times might he have washed his clothes, how much may have just worn off with daily use, how many of the clothes he war had he thown away? Had large quantities of forensic evidence been found I would have been very suspiscious.


I am quite sure the material was not contaminated. I would certainly dispute your conclusion that they are highly likely to be contaminated. Without great care having been taken the evidence would not have been allowed to be presented to the court.

Can you really see a forensic scientist risking his reputation to present unsound evidence?


On the subject of the method of killing, have the media reported the type of round? A treated round, such as advertised in many US gun magazines (not recommended reading - quite sick in parts) could give very high kill probability with a headshot, by flattening and maximising damage.

5th Jul 2001, 23:28
Send Clowns, of course it's highly likely to have been contaminated. The coat was taken out of a sealed evidence bag, left lying around and photographed in a studio that was used for photographing all sorts of firearms. I believe it was discovered after that. A microscopic particle so small it couldn't be seen by the naked eye.

Additionally, the scientist only said 'it could be firearms residue from the gun used in the shooting' Can it be proven without the gun in question?

The problem is that they drew up a profile of the likely killer, narrowed it down and then found the evidence which proved the case against him.

One of the witnesses had a relationship with a detective on the investigating team; one other expressed reservations about identifying him a year after the event. Could you remember either what you were doing, or someone else on a certain day 12months ago.

Barry George had personality disorders, low IQ and epilepsy - even a normal, relatively intelligent person would find being interviewed by the police for murder a stressful experience. I would think it very possible George was rather confused and unable to really remember coherently.

Just watched a programme on it - apparently according to the psychiatrists and psychologists who examined him - there's no way he could have planned something like this.

I'm not saying he didn't do it, let us hope he did and someone else is not walking around laughing at the verdict of an innocent man - just that there are gaping holes in the case. Justice shouldn't just be done, it should be seen to be done.

[This message has been edited by Velvet (edited 05 July 2001).]

6th Jul 2001, 00:59
Another aspect to this.

Let's suppose George appeals and the Appeal Court orders a retrial. After all the post verdict press coverage much of it speculative predjudicial garbage (even the Guardian ran to five pages) how on earth do they find an unbiased jury?

I'm not arguing for censorship, but it makes you think!

tony draper
6th Jul 2001, 01:07
Wasn't it the Guilford four, that were convicted partially on the evidence of explosive residue on their clothing, nitrate's?, aparently the same stuff can get on your clothing from playing with a new pack of cards.

6th Jul 2001, 01:26
Given the doubts expressed here, maybe an unbiased jury could be found.
But I stick with the idea that he is guilty, whatever it was it was not a pro hit. It has all the marks of an obsessive loner with a failed military background.
The complete lack of evidence of another killer tends to point to George. Recent miscarriages of justice make people cynical nowadays.
If he didn't do it, he is very unlucky.
It's true to say that if it was you or me it would never be solved. But then we 'ordinary people' are not normally prey to lone stalkers. An obvious motive is usually found making it easier to trace suspects.

6th Jul 2001, 12:34
It seems that even the dreaded media are having doubts. Did anyone see the the Tonight programme on ITV on Thursday night?
Their conclusion is that he was too thick to do it. Interesting!

6th Jul 2001, 12:41
Send Clowns:

Do you think Barry George washed that often..? :) :) :) :)

Live long and Prosper.....

Tartan Gannet
6th Jul 2001, 13:01
For lack of better judgement I have to do what I usually do and fall back on my own value system and follow my own light.

I feel that Barry George IS a potential danger to society and himself and, given his past record of serious crimes against the person I believe that he ought to be detained for our good and his own. However I do NOT feel that he killed Jill Dando which is the matter for which he is currently incarcerated. Now given that I believe in Capital Punishment for willful and deliberate murder and acts of terrorism (see Jet Blast passim and ad naseum) I would NOT have been happy to give a Guilty verdict against George on what has been presented in the Broadsheet Newspapers or the Electronic Media, and given the matters raised on this thread.

If a retrial is ordered by the Court of Appeal I would feel a lot happier if this was conducted by a panel of Judges alone as I just cannot see how he can get an unbiased Jury of laymen anywhere in the UK with all the adverse publicity. One thing would be certain, that bete noire of Lawyers, knowledge of his "previous" is now freely available to the World and his Wife.

Northern Lad
6th Jul 2001, 14:35
In an interview with the guy's sister, she said he was liked by all his neighbours and was a very kind and gentle person. Sounds like a nice chap.....if you neglect the fact that he has been previously convicted of attempted rape!

gul dukat
6th Jul 2001, 19:37
Send Clowns .."can you really see a forensic scientist bla bla ...unfortunately IT HAS happened before .I seem to recall that the swabs taken from the Birmingham six gave a positive result for having handled explosives and that this same reaction could be obtained from having handled playing cards !So there is a limited scope for thinking that perhaps the forensics weren't as they might have been !.On another note did anyone take cogniscance of what the Psychologist (name escapes me ) said of George? When asked to perform a simple planning task he performed WORSE than 99% OF THE POPULATION ! This does not sound as the judge implied a case which involved a good degree of planning!
As for Nick Ross wishing a long life ..is that not just hoping that the agony of the sentence will be prolonged ad nauseam ?

Send Clowns
6th Jul 2001, 21:23
I wrote a great post yesterday, but the forums were taken down for maintenance! Have to be curtailed.


:) ah well, a hole in my argument


I also am not stating for certain that George did this, as I said at the start I have not seen all the evidence. I just see some arguments here that I view as slightly flawed.

I am sure the evidence was not treated in the way described in the press - we all know what the press are like - had it been then the evidence would not have been admissable.

The problems with the Birmingham 6 and Guildford 4 make all this even more unlikely to have been contaminated evidence. At least one of those cases the only problem was the extremely strict lab procedures had not been followed (made the evidence unsound from a legal view, but ...). Now of course forensic procedures have been tightened greatly, which is why I am sure this evidence was not treated in the way some in the press have suggested.

Tartan Gannet
7th Jul 2001, 02:36
No wish to be flippant, but as we seem to have exhausted the Dando-George matter what about Archer?

I personally expect him to go down, but what do others feel?

Fr O'Blivien
7th Jul 2001, 03:29
Is this topic for real?

What the F*uck do you jokers think you are discussing?

BJ was convicted in a BRITISH court of law by 11 out of 12 "good men and true". THEY alone had the info, YOU were not in court, so how the hell do you presume to know more about the facts than they? How could you POSSIBLY be more right than they?

Fer chrissakes!

7th Jul 2001, 03:45
Fr O'Blivien

There are three newspapers who are questioning the conviction of Barry George. Am I suppose to assume that their reporters who sat in court everyday, and heard the same evidence as the jurors are somehow misguided by questioning the verdict?

They heard exactly the same evidence, and they are very worried about the conviction. They are worried about it enough for their newspapers to back them on it. Maybe if those three journalists had been sitting on the jurors bench, instead of the press one, Barry George would be a free man right now(rightly or wrongly).

[This message has been edited by Iceolareanic (edited 06 July 2001).]

7th Jul 2001, 22:39
Ice, the whole point of it is that those journalists were NOT part of the jury. They were not party to the long discussions and arguments in the jury room. They would not necessarily have seen close-up photographs of the scene, etc. etc.

And finally, journalists are not employed to spout their own opinion. Most tabloid journalists are paid to come up with material that will sell papers. If they need to trim the facts slightly, to be "economical" with the truth, to put a slant on their articles to produce something that people will buy, do you really think that they would resists that temptation?

Send Clowns
7th Jul 2001, 23:31
Agreed, Huggy. I have worked for two high-profile employers and studied at a high-profile establishment. In every case when something got in the papers and I knew the true story they had something substantive wrong in the published piece.

Journalists criticize anyone else who is not perfect in their job, but are crap themselves. If pilots flew like journalists research and write (and train drivers drove, doctors operated etc) then the problems associated with errors in these professions would be so common that they would not make the papers, and journalists would have more work to fill the papers with their semi-literate ramblings.

{rant mode : off}


gul dukat
8th Jul 2001, 02:44
Send Clowns !! Blimey at last I agree with you !! :D As for O'bollocks ! this is a forum where we the ORDINARY members of the public can air our views ! matters not a damn what the jury say! WE are entitled to our opinion !! Would you rather we exchanged reggies? And I never ever thought I would say this but in the words of old cross bullocks !" come strong or don't come at all !!".....bloody hell off for a lie down !!!

9th Jul 2001, 02:56
TG, the great "I" - what an opinionated prick! Keep flying, preferably where you can`t do too much damage.

Fr O`Blivien, - quite.

Guilford 4, Birmingham 6, - sounds more like a football score than the real world.

I suppose the Renault 5 was innocent as well? :confused:

[ 08 July 2001: Message edited by: boris ]

9th Jul 2001, 08:31
The Renault 5 were, indeed, innocent - it was a conspiracy of the judiciary allied with corrupt police and the military/industrial combines...

But not nearly so big a miscarriage of justice as the Daytona 500... :p

9th Jul 2001, 17:40
Tartan Gannet
Oedipus could at least find his mother. It must be more difficult for you, hatched as you probably were, by the heat of the sun on a "good old scottish" wall somewhere.

Your conceited ramblings, fortunately for the rest of us, will not shake the English Legal system. Goodbye.

9th Jul 2001, 23:20
If you are looking for a definitive opinion on circumstantial evidence, have a look at the letter in today's "Times" from retired Judge HH Derek Clarkson, whom I have been honoured to meet.

I can add nothing, but his letter will repay a little study.


[ 09 July 2001: Message edited by: JPJ ]

Tartan Gannet
9th Jul 2001, 23:39
JPJ,many thanks. I read the article and its a first class explanation, free of jargon, understandable to the layman. It clarifies the expression for me.

I see from the Teletext that George's Lawyers are to base their appeal on the Identification evidence. Anyone have a similar authority to quote on this?

Flying Lawyer
10th Jul 2001, 03:13
Your respect for the "English Legal system" is admirable, but no legal system is perfect and there have been occasions when miscarriages of justice have been brought to light, and corrected, because of public unease about a conviction.
I make no comment whatsoever about the Barry George case because my knowledge is limited to what I read in the Press, and 'gossip' over lunch at the Old Bailey.

Tartan Gannet
In a case where the prosecution relies upon Circumstantial Evidence, a Judge's direction to the jury would be something along these lines:
"Reference has been made to the type of evidence which you have received in this case. Sometimes a jury is asked to find some fact proved by direct evidence. For example, if there is reliable evidence from a witness who actually saw a defendant commit a crime; if there is a video recording of the incident which plainly demonstrates his guilt; or if there is reliable evidence of the defendant himself having admitted it, these would all be good examples of direct evidence against him.
On the other hand it is often the case that direct evidence of a crime is not available, and the prosecution relies upon circumstantial evidence to prove guilt.
That simply means that the prosecution is relying upon evidence of various circumstances relating to the crime and the defendant which they say when taken together will lead to the sure conclusion that it was the defendant who committed the crime.
Circumstantial evidence can be powerful evidence, but it is important that you examine it with care, and consider whether the evidence upon which the prosecution relies in proof of its case is reliable and whether it does prove guilt.
Furthermore, before convicting on circumstantial evidence you should consider whether it reveals any other circumstances which are or may be of sufficient reliability and strength to weaken or destroy the prosecution case.
Finally, you should be careful to distinguish between arriving at conclusions based on reliable circumstantial evidence, and mere speculation. Speculating in a case amounts to no more than guessing, or making up theories without good evidence to support them, and neither the prosecution, the defence nor you should do that."

"Identification Cases"
A Judge will direct the jury along these lines:
"This is a trial where the case against the defendant depends wholly or to a large extent on the correctness of one or more identifications of him which the defence alleges to be mistaken.
I must therefore warn you of the special need for caution before convicting the defendant in reliance on the evidence of identification. That is because it is possible for an honest witness to make a mistaken identification.
There have been wrongful convictions in the past as a result of such mistakes. An apparently convincing witness can be mistaken. So can a number of apparently convincing witnesses.
You should therefore examine carefully the circumstances in which the identification by each witness was made.
How long did he have the person he says was the defendant under observation?
At what distance?
In what light?
Did anything interfere with the observation?
Had the witness ever seen the person he observed before?
If so, how often?
If only occasionally, had he any special reason for remembering him?
How long was it between the original observation and the identification to the police?
Is there any marked difference between the description given by the witness to the police when he was first seen by them and the appearance of the defendant?"
(The Judge will then remind the jury of the specific weaknesses which appeared in the identification evidence)

Hope that helps!

[ 09 July 2001: Message edited by: Flying Lawyer ]

Tartan Gannet
10th Jul 2001, 06:39
Thanks Flying Lawyer. It will be interesting when the Appeal is heard and how the media handle its reporting.

10th Jul 2001, 14:28
Flying Lawyer,
Surely your "gossip over lunch at the Old Bailey" does not enlarge your knowledge of the case in question?

Yes, I do have respect for the legal system which , of course, includes the right of appeal, or several, right up to the House of Lords. When I posted, the Appeal had not been announced. What does irritate though, is the whining noise of self-appointed "experts" trawling, no, blundering through a jungle which they patently do not understand.
It is to your eternal credit, that you come to their rescue with your patient explanations of matters legal.

[ 10 July 2001: Message edited by: boris ]

You splitter
10th Jul 2001, 19:51
FR O'Blivien,

The reason we are all discussing this topic is because the justice system belongs to us the people. The twelve members, who form the jury, represent us (a cross section of society). I personally reserve the right to question, or agree, with any person representing me. Therefore I have every right to discuss this with any other body who wishes to as well.

Tartan Gannet
10th Jul 2001, 20:13
Totally agree You Splitter. In a Democracy the right to question via fora such as this, whether it is the Legal Judgement of a Judge, the Policies of a Goverment, or Local Authority, the Doctrines and Dogmas of a religion is sacrosanct. If an ordinary citizen is ignorant then those with a knowledge of the topic such as Flying Lawyer or JPJ will usually politely correct them for errors of FACT. We are of course all entitled to our OPINIONS, like "rectums" we all have them.

Talking of rectums, I notice a certain Bruiser is abusive of those who do exercise the right mentioned above, and all with the great experience gained from 23 posts to JB? I have alas come across this type before, bullies at school, overbearing bosses, the loud mouth in the pub trying to impress his "bird". Sorry mate, its takes a MAN not his trousers to shut me up, Danny Fyne and his fellow Moderators being the only persons having the right to bar me from this Website or delete/edit what I have posted. Greater men have tried to silence me and I am still here. Perhaps if you actually put up some sensible counter arguments to back your case in a POLITE manner you might learn something. I certainly have over the 10 months I have been posting to Jet Blast.

11th Jul 2001, 02:35
You`re quite right to upbraid me. I should not get quite so bored quite so quickly and even more rudely, show it, although the JB banner does suggest that we should not be easliy offended when entering these hallowed portals. That`s what one gets for taking things at face value, I suppose.

Tartan Gannet
11th Jul 2001, 09:16
Boris, if that is an apology, accepted. Stick around, I have found the JB crowd a fascinating lot and I have learned a great deal from them, even when I have disagreed with what they are saying. Sure strong opinions are voiced on controversial issues but usually in a polite manner.

11th Jul 2001, 14:39
Good to hear from Mr Flying Lawyer. Sage counsel indeed.......

Can't think of anything more to say re the case. P'raps we should all wait for the Court of appeal.....

The Filth
13th Jul 2003, 06:19
Iceolareanic - Did Barry George REALLY kill Jill Dando ?

Knowing the ethics of some of the guys on the investigation team, I very much doubt it. But one hell of a conviction to boast on your career CV, which in turn will open doors within the Yard.