Barry George is the man who has been convicted of the murder of UK TV presenter Jill Dando. On the 2nd of July, 2001 after 31 hours of deliberation by the jury, a guilty verdict was passed down and George received life imprisonment for the supposed murder. He was arrested on May 28th 2000, 460 days after the killing.

He was arrested on the basis of a single of molecule of firearms residue, only 11 microns thick, that was found in his jacket. The residue matched that which was found embedded in Jill Dando's hair and head. Also, after his arrest and inspection of his possesions by police, they found a fibre of material on a pair of trousers that matched the material of the coat Jill Dando was was wearing when she was shot. Even though no motive has been established for the murder, and the police found no evidence that George had a fixation with Dando, or any hard physical evidence, the courts felt that they had enough to serve a conviction.

Barry George was a bizarre person to say the least, a fantasist who lived in a dream world where he thought of himself as a celebrity, claiming to be, amongst others, Barry Bulsara, the cousin of Freddy Mercury, lead singer of Queen, an SAS soldier, Gary Glitter, the list goes on and on and on.

Amongst various other incidents, he was caught by police skulking in the gardens of Kensington Palace with full combat gear and in posession of a knife and a poem addressed to Prince Charles. In another incident, he posed as a police officer and had obtained false warrant cards. For this he was arrested and taken to court, where he appeared in glam rock clothing and stated his name for the record to be Paul Gadd, the real name of Gary Glitter. The story was covered extensively by the local media.

In 1981, he adopted a new persona as a stuntman, Steve Majors, after Fall Guy actor Lee Majors, and claimed to have been doing stunts for the last 11 years without injury. He successfully completed a jump over a row of buses in a sell out show in a Derby stadium.

From 1981 onwards, under the pseudonym of Steve Majors, George was convicted with assaulting many women and served 23 months in jail for attempted rape, and various charges of assault and sexual harrasment.

Amazingly, George married a Japanese woman, Itsuko Toide in 1989, but the marraige failed within a year, as Itsuko claimed that the George had been assaulting her. The case against him was eventually dropped.

Between '81 and '89 Barry George had also learned a lot about weapons and had been a member of the Territorial Army where he was to learn how to fire and maintain automatic weapons and combat techniques. He was also a member of the Chelsea Gun Club for a brief period of time.

The 1990's saw another string of assault and harrasment charges brought against George, as well as charges of stalking and suspicion of murder.

A psychologist studying George since his arrest for the Dando murder concluded that he was suffering from more than seven different personality disorders, but apart from this he was of average intelligence. He had also been suffering from epilepsy and this was only discovered after his arrest and may have contributed greatly to his mental problems.

As appeal is planned by George's defence and must be applied for within the next 28 days.

The defence claim Barry George's conviction is a miscarriage of justice, and that the real killers could be related to the Serbian warlord, Arkan, in revenge for the NATO bombing of a Belgrade television station. George's barrister, Micheal Mansfield QC, said that her murder bore all the trademarks of a contract killing, and that the prosecutions evidence was flimsy and badly acquired.

On a personal note, I think that this case will continue and that the appeal may be successful. Watch this space.......

Some info from Guardian Unlimited and BBC.

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