“The reaction from here [Scotland Yard] is, rightly or wrongly, that any re-investigation will be unlikely to reach any different conclusion.” – Sky News, 4 August, 12.18pm. Scotland Yard have been briefing journalists furiously for the last forty eight hours that Barry George is guilty and the jury got it wrong. Two teams of detectives, they told the Sky reporter, had investigated the case and reached the same conclusion. Disgracefully Sky News are challenging poor George – who has a mental age of 10 – to take a lie detector test.
I was horrified by the original conviction and the case has been on my mind from time to time for the last eight years. I have no idea who killed Jill Dando or why, but plainly it was very professional. It was carried out with a custom modified and silenced gun, leaving no evidence of the killer on site. George, who needed help with his shoelaces and became confused and lost if on the streets on his own, plainly was simply not up to it. In the police laboratory a single micro-fleck of gunpowder residue, invisible to the naked eye, reached his coat.
There was something medieval about the conviction – a crime has been committed, so let us convict the local mentally disabled person. Lessons must be learnt urgently about the need to protect the mentally weak from the Police and from the prejudice of juries. The case is almost exactly the same as the horrible miscarriage of justice that destroyed the life of Stefan Kiszko and his family. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7052109.stm That again was a case of simply harrowing the local mentally disabled member of the community.
We have learnt nothing in the last thirty years. And judging by their arrogant and disgraceful attitude today, Scotland Yard have no intention of learning anything.