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Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 21:21 GMT 22:21 UK
Dando suspect 'nervous and excited'
Barry George
Barry George denies murdering Jill Dando
The man accused of murdering Jill Dando visited an advice centre and a taxi cab office in an agitated state the day she died, the Old Bailey has heard.

Barry George called at the offices of Hammersmith and Fulham Action for Disability (Hafad) to talk about his mental and physical health problems, the jury was told.

Hafad worker Susan Bicknell told the court: "He was certainly agitated and wanted to speak to someone even though I said I could not see him that day."


He was very nervous and excited - he said I need help, I need help

Rosario Torres
Advice centre worker
Mr George, 41, from Crookham Road, Fulham, west London, denies murdering Miss Dando on the morning of 26 April 1999.

The BBC television presenter was shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham at about 11.30am.

The prosecution alleges that Mr George visited the centre to try to establish an alibi for his movements that day.

Rosario Torres, an administrator at Hafad, said she saw Mr George enter the centre shortly before lunchtime on 26 April.

"He was behaving very odd. He was very nervous and excited - he said I need help, I need help," she told the court.

'Behaving very odd'

Mrs Torres said she told Mr George: "OK, come with me, but you need an appointment."

"He said 'I need welfare, my GP does not want to see me. I need to go to see my solicitor'."

She told the court Mr George was not making sense and seemed unco-ordinated.

Taxi firm manager Ramesh Paul told the court that on the day of the murder a man the prosecution alleges was Mr George had arrived at 1pm and asked him for a cab but said he had no money.

Miss Dando
Miss Dando was shot dead outside her home
Mr Paul said the man stayed in the waiting area looking out of the window.

"He seemed in a bit of a hurry to go somewhere but he had no money to go there."

By a stroke of luck Mr Paul received a call asking for a package to be collected from near where the customer wanted to go and he told a driver to take the man along for free.

Mr Paul said that two days later the same man came in and started talking about the killing.

Mr Paul said the man had been talking "to himself and to me", saying he did not want the blame.

'Total gibberish'

He saw the man again a day or two later, Mr Paul said, adding: "He came into the office. He was asking stupid question - total gibberish."

"He asked me if I remembered him, what time he came here, what he looked like, what he was wearing."

Mr Paul said he remembered the fare and told him 1.15pm but the man wanted him to write down the time on a card.


He asked me if I remembered him, what time he came here, what he looked like, what he was wearing

Ramesh Paul
Taxi firm manager
The court was later told how Miss Dando died almost immediately due to brain damage after being shot through the head at point-blank range.

A small cut found above the bullet's entry point was probably caused by the pressure of the gun sight against her head, Home Office pathologist Dr Richard Shepherd said.

The bullet entered the left side of her head just above and behind the left ear and exited just in front of and at the top of the right ear, he told the court.

The pressure of a hard barrel against the skull formed a seal so the bullet passed through and gases passed into it - muffling the sound of a shot, the jury were told.

The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

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The BBC's Stephen Cape
reports from the Old Bailey
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