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Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Dando evidence 'not reliable'
Barry George
Barry George denies murdering Jill Dando
An expert in the Jill Dando murder trial has said a particle of firearms residue found in the coat of defendant Barry George is not reliable evidence of his guilt.

"There is no particular reason why this particular particle can be related to the shooting of Miss Dando," said Dr John Lloyd, a scientific expert called by the defence.

"The claims that it is so related are based on scientifically unsupported assumptions.


This evidence is not reliable as evidence of the defendant's involvement in the shooting

Dr John Lloyd, scientific expert for the defence
"The evidence is dependant on flawed police procedures.

"It is my view that this evidence is not reliable as evidence of the defendant's involvement in the shooting," he told the Old Bailey.

The particle was allegedly found in a Cecil Gee coat taken from Mr George's home after his arrest last year.

Dr Lloyd said it was the first time it had been suggested "that a single particle could be a relic of something which occurred a year before".

Given that the coat could have been contaminated in a police photographic studio, Dr Lloyd said the particle "cannot be taken as reliable evidence".

'Not the killer'

The television presenter was shot through the head on the doorstep of her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, west London, on 26 April 1999.

Miss Dando
Miss Dando was found dead on her doorstep
Mr George, 42, of Crookham Road, Fulham, denies murder.

Earlier, the court head that Mr George told a church deacon he was not the killer.

Yvonne Burke, a deacon at the Fulham Baptist Church, said she had spoken to Mr George about Miss Dando the month after the shooting.

In a statement read to the court she said he had told her that "they in the cab office and everyone" thought he had killed Jill Dando.

But she said when she asked him if he had killed her, he replied "no".

Police officer Mark van Cuylenburg, who also spoke to Mr George at the time, thought he seemed upset but no more than others.


I said: 'Did you kill Jill Dando?' He said: 'No'

Witness Yvonne Burke

Mr Cuylenburg said that Mr George told him he had seen a red car drive up and down the street and thought is suspicious. He told him Mr George he must report it to the police.

"At no time was Jill Dando as a person discussed, nor did he make any admissions of her murder."

Range Rover spotted

Another witness told the Old Bailey he had seen two people in a dark blue Range Rover near the crime scene.

Raymond Cook said he had been going shopping at 1130BST on the day Miss Dando was killed, and saw the vehicle opposite Fulham football ground about three or four minutes later.

The defence has suggested that a hitman may have met with an accomplice waiting in a vehicle in a neighbouring street immediately after the shooting.

Another witness, Frances Hughes, was driving a recovery truck along the Fulham Palace Road when she saw a man running down the street.

But the prosecution suggested that she saw the man before the killing, not afterwards.

Earlier on Monday the court heard the jury could retire to consider its verdict in the middle of next week.

The trial was adjourned until Tuesday.

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