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Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 23:10 GMT 00:10 UK
Dando accused 'vowed to solve case'
Jill Dando in the Seychelles for the Holiday programme
Jill Dando was one of the UK's best-known presenters
The man accused of killing Jill Dando claimed he was going to help police solve the crime, a witness has told the Old Bailey.

Sally Mason said she met Barry George in the street about a year after the BBC television presenter was murdered, shortly after a Crimewatch appeal for information had been shown.

The court also heard evidence from Lenita Bailey, a friend of Mr George, who said he "rocked in his chair" and did not respond when she asked him if he committed the crime.

Mr George, 41, from Crookham Road, Fulham, west London, denies murdering Miss Dando, who was shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, on 26 April 1999.


He said he was going to help them solve the case - wrap it up because a year had gone by and no one had been charged

Sally Mason, witness
Ms Mason told the court: "He [Mr George] said he went to Fulham police station and told them he was there.

"He said he was going to help them solve the case - wrap it up - because a year had gone by and no one had been charged."

She warned Mr George he could get himself into trouble, and that his comments were fantasies as she thought he was living in another world, Ms Mason told the court.

Under questioning from prosecutor Orlando Pownall, Ms Mason said she understood Mr George to mean he thought he had seen the murder and could help the police solve the crime.

"He is harmless enough really, but reality just drifts off the end," she told the court.

Silence

Lenita Bailey said she had spoken to Mr George about the crime about a year after the murder.

Barry George
Barry George denies murdering Miss Dando
She told the court she suspected he had lied to the police about seeing a Range Rover on the evening of the murder. Ms Bailey said she told him he could be a suspect and asked if he had committed the crime.

She told the court: "He was looking at the floor and playing with his hands. He did not say anything, so I asked him again 'Did you do it, did you kill Jill Dando?' I never got a response."

BBC

Mr George told a BBC employee that he did not like the corporation, who he worked for 10 years ago, the court heard.

Sophia Wellington told the Old Bailey: "He said he did not like the BBC because of the way it treated his cousin and his family over his illness. I understood him to mean Freddie Mercury".

The prosecution alleges that Mr George also used the name Barry Bulsara, claiming to be Freddie Mercury's cousin.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Stephen Cape
reports from the Old Bailey
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