Why two papers had to pay damages to Barry George
Murdoch papers claimed man cleared of Jill Dando murder was stalking other women
Barry George, who was cleared in August 2008 of murdering BBC TV presenter Jill Dando, has won an apology and "substantial" damages from the publisher of the Sun and the News of the World. The two tabloids, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Group, had suggested he killed Dando and claimed he was stalking other women.
George (above), who was at London's High Court this morning to accept the undisclosed pay-out at a short hearing before Mr Justice Eady, said he was "pleased" the matter had been "amicably settled".
News Group apologised for making various false allegations about George in a series of articles between August 1 and November 20, 2008, following George's acquittal on August 1 at a retrial.
Both the Sun and the News of the World claimed that George had become obsessed with another television presenter - Sky News anchor Kay Burley - and that he had pestered a woman after answering an advertisement she placed about a dog. The tabloids also reported that he had become obsessed with Pam Wright, the fiancee of the Ipswich strangler Steve Wright.
One News of the World article carried a made-up quote from George in which he apparently suggested that he could not have shot Jill Dando outside her home in south-west London in April 1999 because he was stalking another woman at the time of the murder. News Group accepted today that George never made such a statement and also admitted that any suggestion George stalked Kay Burley was incorrect.
George, who has a personality disorder, was at the High Court with his sister, Michelle Diskin, who led the campaign to prove his innocence. George now hopes to stop the authorities monitoring his movements, which they have done ever since his release. More than 10 years since her murder, Jill Dando's killer remains at large. ·
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