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Sunday, 7 April, 2002, 13:52 GMT 14:52 UK
Police study 'Dando confession'
Barry George
Barry George has always denied the killing
Scotland Yard is to study a tape said to feature Barry George admitting to the killing of Jill Dando.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said any new evidence would be "carefully considered".

George was convicted last year of the BBC presenter's murder but has always maintained his innocence.

His appeal against the conviction, based on a challenge to identification evidence, will be heard soon.

The News of the World reported that a fellow inmate had recorded a conversation during which George confessed the killing.

Jill Dando
Jill Dando was shot on the doorstep of her home
On the tape a voice asks: "Why did the police arrest you in the first place, do you think?"

Another voice, said to belong to George, replies: "Why? Because I, I was the person who committed the murder."

The paper said the tape would be handed over to detectives next week, but there has been no suggestion that it would form any part of the appeal hearing.

Scotland Yard said it would not discuss this matter further whilst the case was subject to appeal.

Lawyers acting for George said they had not been given a copy of the tape, and also refused to comment further ahead of the appeal.

George's solicitor, Marilyn Etienne, said: "Once we are in possession of the tape and have had an opportunity to have it properly analysed, we may make further comments."

Accidental recording

There is no confirmation yet that the voice is that of George, with the dialogue on the tape muffled, indistinct and even inaudible in parts.

It is also said to contain an involved discussion about the timing of alibis and the nature of the trial judge's directions to the jury.

The paper reported it was recorded accidentally by inmate Rafal Gutarewicz while both were in Whitemoor Prison.

Gutarewicz had been trying to record himself playing a keyboard and had accidentally left the tape running.

Miss Dando was shot in the head on the doorstep of her home in Fulham, west London, in April 1999.

See also:

14 Dec 01 | UK
Dando killer granted appeal
27 Jun 01 | UK
The golden girl of TV
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