: Dando: 'Eulogies Disproportionate'

The former agent of murdered TV personality Jill Dando has accused the BBC of using her death - including a reconstruction of her mysterious killing - for their own propaganda purposes.

Whereas the BBC presented Ms. Dando after her death as their lost golden girl, her agent has revealed that the reality behind the scenes was very different from that presented to the public.

"The BBC eulogies after her death were totally disproportionate to the negotiations behind the scenes", said Jon Roseman. "It was Jill's decision to stick with the BBC. I leaned her toward ITV where she'd have had star treatment. But her career at the BBC did not really develop".

The agent was horrified by the BBC's refusal to allow Ms. Dando to present the Six O'Clock News and even more so by a suggestion that she should consider a move on to radio. Proposals to front programmes in conjunction with Prince Edward had also been abortive.

"Jill flirted with ITV", declared Roseman. "David Liddiment, the powerful director of channels, said she could pick what she wanted. But she felt loyal to the BBC so we cut a deal".

The appeal case of Barry George, the supposed stalker found guilty of shooting Jill Dando, is due to begin on July 17th.


The Appeal Court has been presented with the case for Barry George's appeal this week against his conviction for murdering TV presenter Jill Dando.

Michael Mansfield, QC, based his appeal on the following grounds:

1. Jury irregularities. Mr Mansfield claimed that the original Old Bailey jury that convicted George ignored the trial judge's instructions by continuing their arguments in their hotel at night.

2. Forensic evidence. Mr Mansfield also said that forensic evidence of an invisible speck of firearms residue found in the accused's pocket which matched particles in the victim's hair should have been excluded from the trial.

An expert witness had stated that the evidence had "no relevance" as it was only a single particle, was not observed until a year after the murder when police searched the accused's home, and could have come from other sources.

3. Identification evidence. The original trial judge, Mr Justice Gage, allowed the prosecutor to call four witnesses who could not conclusively identify George during face-only video ID parades. Mr Mansfield claims this was a mistake by the judge and that this evidence should have been inadmissible.

The case continues.


Appeal Court rejects Barry George's appeal.

Three senior Appeal Court judges have ruled that there is a "compelling case" against him and have rejected claims that the evidence was flawed.

The judges ruled that the following confirmed George's guilt:

  1. Identification evidence; 9 partial sightings and 1 positive ID.
  2. Forensic evidence; a fibre found on Jill Dando was consistent with George's clothing, and this showed a "two-way forensic connection" between victim and killer.
  3. George was obsessed with women TV presenters.
  4. He lied repeatedly during police interviews.
  5. His alibi was "flawed".

George's own lawyers said that there was no DNA; no fingerprints; and no footprints which linked him to the killing. The murder weapon was never found.

George's sister, Michelle Diskin, confirmed that she will continue the fight to prove her brother's innocence:

"This is not justice, but this can happen to anybody - to your brother, your aunt and your child. They had no evidence to convict Barry. This is appalling. I completely believe in his innocence."

The case will now proceed to the House of Lords.


TV presenters reveal stalker fears.

London News presenter Emily Maitlis, 31, has revealed that she has been stalked for the past 6 years. Ms. Maitlis has been bombarded with letters and phone calls, and has been allegedly followed by a man.

In recent cases, newsreader Julia Somerville, 54, received hundreds of obscene letters - 400 over a period of 10 years; TV anchorwoman Sarah Lockett, 34, suffered recurrent phone calls and received repeated letters and unwanted 'gifts'.

In Ms. Lockett's case a jury failed to reach a verdict on a charge of making a threat to kill; the accused man was found guilty only of harassment.


The son of Britain's most senior law officer is being held in a high-security American prison charged with stalking a girl and threatening to kill her boyfriend.

Alastair Irvine, 25, son of Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine, is awaiting trial in Orange County, California. If convicted he faces up to 15 years imprisonment.

19 year-old blonde Nicole Healy has been the alleged object of his obsessive attention. She commented:

"I don't know what will happen because of his father's power. Will they just ship him home and allow him to come back on the next plane?

He needs to be put away in a secure place. If not, I am afraid not just for myself, but other women. I'd be in fear for my life".

Return to this page for further coverage.

© Guy Byrne 2002