The man wrongfully imprisoned for 7 years for murdering TV presenter Jill Dando has lost his latest attempt to gain compensation from the state.
Originally sentenced for the murder of Jill Dando in 2001, Barry George was found not guilty at a retrial in 2008 when the Court of Appeal quashed the conviction and George was later acquitted.
George’s claim for compensation for the time he was deprived of his liberty, the loss of his home and all of his possessions, and the loss of his normal life was rejected by the Ministry of Justice claiming that George was not legally entitled, citing that George was “not innocent enough”.
In today’s appeal against the compensation verdict, Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Irwin ruled that the Secretary of State was “entirely justified in the conclusion he reached,” and that George has “failed the legal test” for compensation.
The sister of George, Michelle Diskin, spoke to reporters and called the ruling “a travesty of justice”.
She went on to say:
“This whole case from April 2000 until today has been a smoke and mirrors exercise designed to placate a worried public, and give the impression that justice had been done.
“Well neither the Dando family, nor our family, has seen any justice in the past 13 years.
“We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision and will need to go away and regroup to decide what to do next. We cannot let this go unchallenged.
“Serving eight years in prison for someone else’s crime is not acceptable.
“Everything was taken from this man when the police started what we believe to be a malicious prosecution.
“He lost his home, his furniture, his clothing and all of his possessions, his place within his community and his church family.
“How did this unjust legal system expect him to start his life over? He can never get back everything that was taken from him.
“He has had to rely on his pensioner mother, now deceased, on me, and on the Miscarriages of Justice Support Services, who help those poor, wrongly convicted souls to move back into society.
“This Government-appointed body recognised that Barry is a miscarriage of justice. They do not work with offenders.
“Barry is innocent. He deserves a financial settlement to compensate for all that was taken from him – everything he owned and eight years of his life.”
George’s solicitor, Nick Baird, said: “We are very disappointed with the judgment and we shall be applying for permission to leapfrog the Court of Appeal to have the matter heard before the Supreme Court.”
‘Justice’ seems to be skewed when it comes to compensating those who have been victims of state negligence and incompetence.
There is no ‘innocent enough’ and is a ridiculous argument. A person can be innocent or guilty of an offence – there is no sliding scale. Either George killed Jill Dando or he didn’t. If the prosecution cannot prove their case beyond all reasonable doubt then the person is innocent of the crime in the eyes of the law – except when it comes to compensation claims of course.
In effect, the Ministry of Justice has said that although George has been found not-guilty the Ministry ‘thinks’ he still needs to be punished by being imprisoned for eight years and the total destruction of his life based on their presumption and conjecture – not hard fact.
‘Justice’ is supposed to be fair and unbiased based in evidence – it is supposed to protect every member of society from the injustice of others and the injustices of the state.
The state made a grave error that has not only affected George. Their incompetence and failure to properly pursue Jill Dando’s murder means that her family and friends have no closure to the death of a loved one.
In the rush to gain a conviction for a high profile case, the police, Crown Prosecution Service, and others involved in the prosecution caved in to government pressure, which inevitably resulted in a sloppy process in which elementary mistakes were made.
Whoever and whatever Barry George may be, he is a citizen of the UK who is entitled to justice as part of the fabric of our society. His life has been destroyed, and a large part of his life has been spent in prison.
Any citizen who has been wrongly convicted, been deprived of their liberty, and had their life destroyed as the result of state incompetence should be compensated.
If the Ministry of Justice are so convinced that George may still have killed Jill Dando then they should order a re-investigation and trial – but they have not.
The decision of the courts is political and they are covering their own backsides for their own motives and agendas.
This is not ‘justice’ – this is socialist communism akin to the days of the KGB and the Gulag – and will not only affect Barry George, but every person subjected to the same judicial system. It sets a precedent for the state to do as it pleases without any consideration for those it affects.
The time will come when people will be imprisoned without trial for years at a time for the most trivial of reasons.
The police state is on its way to your town soon.