Barry George wins retrial over Dando murder

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LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) Barry George, the man serving life for the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, will be retried after winning an appeal today.

Three of the country's top judges ordered that his conviction should be quashed.

They allowed George's appeal, which had argued that a microscopic particle of firearms residue found in his coat was unsafe as evidence.

Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice, said it was no more likely that the particle had come from a gun fired by George than from some other source.

He said the Appeal Court had concluded that if this had been made clear to the jury at the trial there was no certainty they would have found 47-year-old George guilty.

''For this reason his conviction had to be quashed,'' he said.

George, wearing a dark suit and open-necked shirt, sat stony faced in the dock throughout the hearing.

As he left, he smiled and made a brief remark to one of the security guards at his side.

George's solicitor said outside court that his client was very pleased by the decision.

No date has yet been filed for the new trial and George will remain in prison until then. No application was made for bail.

George's sister Michelle Diskin said the ruling was just one step along the way.

''We don't really feel we have a victory: we don't have Barry, he hasn't got his freedom yet and it's been an absolute nightmare journey so far,'' she said outside court.

''I would still implore anyone in the public who has information about the real killer, because while Barry is locked up, the real killer is still out there.'' Dando's fiance Alan Farthing said he was disappointed by the decision.

George's conviction in July 2001 of gunning down the 37-year-old presenter outside her London home in 1999 followed one of the biggest police investigations ever mounted in Britain.


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