UK

Barry George loses Jill Dando compensation bid ruling

Michelle Diskin (second right) reads a statement on behalf of her brother Barry George (left), who spent eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando, outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London, where he lost his legal battle for compensation as a victim of a "miscarriage of justice" in the Court of Appeal
Image caption Barry George's sister, Michelle Diskin (second right), described the judge's decision as a "travesty of justice"

Barry George, who spent eight years in prison after being wrongly convicted of the murder of BBC TV presenter Jill Dando, has lost a bid for compensation.

The Court of Appeal decision follows the dismissal of his claim by two High Court judges in January.

Mr George had been seeking to claim for lost earnings and wrongful imprisonment as the victim of a "'miscarriage of justice".

Miss Dando, 37, was shot dead on her doorstep in west London in April 1999.

Mr George was convicted in 2001 but was acquitted of the killing at a retrial in 2008 after doubt was cast on the reliability of gunshot residue evidence.

'Travesty of justice'

In January, the High Court had ruled that Mr George did not qualify for compensation because jurors could still reasonably have convicted him despite new evidence that led to his acquittal.

Mr George had called for a reconsideration of his case, which would have opened the way for him to claim an award of up to £500,000.

Lord Justice Richards, sitting at the Court of Appeal in London, rejected Mr George's application for permission to challenge the January decision.

He said the 53-year-old, who was present for the ruling, had "no realistic prospects" of success on appeal.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr George's sister, Michelle Diskin, described the judge's decision as a "travesty of justice".

Ms Diskin said: "There never was any viable evidence against Barry.

"This whole case from April 2000 until today has been a smoke and mirrors exercise designed to placate a worried public, and give the impression that justice had been done.

"Well, neither the Dando family, nor our family, has seen any justice in the past 13 years."

Ms Diskin continued: "Barry is innocent. He deserves a financial settlement to compensate for all that was taken from him - everything he owned and eight years of his life.

"We are extremely disappointed with today's decision and will need to go away and regroup to decide what to do next. We cannot let this go unchallenged."

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