14/05/2010

George Awarded Damages Over 'Obsession'

The man cleared of murdering TV presenter Jill Dando after spending seven years in jail has won damages over newspaper claims.

Barry George brought the case over claims that he was obsessed with singer Cheryl Cole and newsreader Kay Burley.

The claims were made in the Sunday Mirror, the People and on the Daily Mirror website in 2008.

They have now, however, been withdrawn by MGN – the owner of the newspaper group.

In 2001, Mr George was convicted of the 1999 murder of Miss Dando.

However, this conviction was quashed in 2007 and he was acquitted of the charge following a retrial.

At the High Court in London today, Mr George's counsel, Gordon Bishop, said that it was now accepted by MGN that its allegations had been false.

The reports suggested Mr George had threatened to pester and harass Ms Cole and her colleagues so he could meet the Girls Aloud singer and X Factor judge.

It was also claimed Mr George had downloaded pictures of Sky presenter Ms Burley, and said that he loved her and she loved him.

MGN agreed to pay substantial damages and Mr George's costs, and Emily Barber, solicitor for the newspaper group, said that it apologised for any hurt and distress caused to him.

Last December, Mr George accepted libel damages from News Group Newspapers - owner of the Sun and the News of the World – following articles which suggested Mr George murdered Miss Dando and that he had stalked other women.

News Group Newspapers apologised for the articles, admitting they contained "false allegations".

(NS/GK)

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16 December 2009
Barry George Wins Media Pay-Out
The man cleared of murdering BBC presenter Jill Dando has received compensation from newspapers who wrongly reported he had stalked other women. Barry George accepted "substantial damages" from News Group Newspapers, which owns the Sun and Sunday tabloid the News of the World.