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Monday, 2 July, 2001, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
Dando jury back for fifth day
Barry George
Barry George denies murdering TV presenter Jill Dando
The jury in the Jill Dando murder trial has reconvened at the Old Bailey for a fifth day of deliberations.

Jurors - who has been deliberating since Wednesday - were given a day off on Sunday by Mr Justice Gage, after sitting on Saturday.

When they returned to court on Monday, he told them he was "acutely conscious of the imposition on you of keeping you at the weekend".

He added that he hoped they had had a good rest.

Mr Justice Gage has told the jury he is now prepared to accept a majority verdict in the case against Barry George, of Crookham Road, Fulham, who denies murdering the BBC television presenter.

Miss Dando
Miss Dando was shot through the head
He gave his decision after the jury had deliberated for 20 hours although he said he would prefer a unanimous verdict.

One juror was earlier discharged after she suffered a family bereavement. She will not be replaced and the judge said he would accept a 10-1 majority.

Miss Dando was shot through the head with a single bullet outside her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, south west London, on 26 April 1999.

Mr Justice Gage has told the jurors they must have as much time as they need and should not feel pressured to reach a verdict.

They have heard six weeks of evidence, including forensic details and videos of an identification parade.

The judge, in his summing-up, reminded them of the evidence.

He said they had to be convinced by three main planks of the prosecution's case.

These were the implausibility of 41-year-old Mr George's alibi; the strength of the eyewitnesses who placed him in Gowan Avenue and the forensic evidence against him.

He spoke about the particle of firearm discharge residue found on the defendant's inside pocket - a result, according to the defence, of innocent contamination.

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