Murder Accused 'Fascinated with Firearms'

The Birmingham Post (England), May 5, 2001 | Go to article overview

Murder Accused 'Fascinated with Firearms'


TV presenter Jill Dando's alleged killer was fascinated with the army and firearms and had 'an exaggerated interest in well-known figures whose success he aspired to emulate', the Old Bailey jury was told.

Unemployed Barry George had obsessive aspects to his personality, which were significant and relevant to the case, according to the prosecution.

He had allegedly changed his name a number of times and adopted the names or original surnames of a number of those whom he admired.

George lived for ten years in a ground-floor flat about 500 yards from the Gowan Avenue home of Miss Dando.

The court was told how the defendant worked as a messenger for the BBC at Television House, Wood Lane, west London, between May and September 1976, 12 years before Miss Dando went there.

'It is clear that he retained an unusual interest in the BBC and would sometimes visit Wood Lane and collect copies of the Ariel paper, which was freely available and featured photographs and articles about those who worked there, including Jill Dando,' Orlando Pownall, prosecuting, said.

George also bought copies of the Radio Times and documents seized from his flat contained references to telephone numbers at the BBC.

Mr Pownall said: 'In interview he suggested that he had not heard of Jill Dando before her death and did not know what she looked like.

'Such a suggestion was patently false.'

A letter of condolence was also recovered from George's address, in which the defendant wrote that he had been present when Freddie Mercury had been interviewed by Miss Dando.

The court heard how in 1996 a man fitting the defendant's description arrived at a jeweller's shop in Carnaby Street and claimed to be Mercury's cousin.

Asked by the female assistant if he had met anyone famous, the man said Diana, Princess of Wales and 'the woman from Crimewatch'. …

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