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Friday 23rd August 2019

Killer of Jill Dando unlikely to be caught, says Met detective

The BBC presenter was shot dead on her doorstep

One of the men who led the investigation into the the 1999 murder of TV's Jill Dando thinks her killer will never be caught.

A new documentary marking 20 years since the newsreader was tragically gunned down in the street will see former Met Detective Chief ­Superintendent Hamish Campbell reveal his fear we'll never know who did it.

Jill was shot dead on her doorstep (Credit: BBC)

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In BBC One's The Murder of Jill Dando, which airs next week, viewers will hear the story of Barry George, who was found guilty of the crime in 2001 and spent seven years behind bars.

A jury put him away when they heard a particle of gunshot residue, matching the residue in Jill's hair, was discovered in his pocket.

What possible reason could anyone have for doing that, except, of course, the fact that she was in the public eye?

But in 2008, a retrial deemed the evidence inadmissible, decided it could have originated from another source, and Barry was freed.

Defending his doomed probe into Jill's death on the documentary, Mr Campbell reveals: "We, as an ­investigation team, brought ­somebody before the courts and that's what we had to do. The outcome is entirely out of our hands."

Former cop Hamish Campbell led the investigation (Credit: BBC)

When asked if he thought someone new would be brought to trial, he says simply: "No."

Mr Campbell goes on to address suggestions that Barry was in some way used as a scapegoat by the investigation team because they were struggling to solve the case, blasting the claims as "somewhat insulting" and "completely untrue".

He also admits his team was under intense pressure to land a conviction in Jill's case.

Her cousin, Judith, says on the documentary she wasn't convinced Barry was behind Jill's death as he "wouldn't have been capable of doing it", and thought his arrest seemed "contrived and convenient".

Jill's cousin, Judith (Credit: BBC)

Judith confesses she still has no idea why Jill was targeted, as she "didn't have any enemies".

She asked: "What possible reason could anyone have for doing that, except, of course, the fact that she was in the public eye?"

Nigel, Jill's brother, tells the documentary makers of his desperation to know the motive.

He says: "I would like somebody, the person who did it, to be able to tell me, or to be able to tell a jury or a judge, why it happened... that would put my mind at rest."

Nigel, Jill’s brother, is desperate to know why it happened (Credit: BBC)

Barry George, who has learning difficulties, is now aged 58. He's previously accused the police of producing a "tailor-made" case and said: "They thought it would just go away and solve the Dando fiasco. But I didn't know who Jill was. I'd never seen her."

Barry also said Jill's family "are victims too" as there has been "no justice for them".

Barry spoke about his wrongful conviction on This Morning (Credit: ITV)

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Jill was killed as she arrived at her home in Fulham, West London, on the morning of April 26, 1999.

She was one of the best-known faces on television at the time, having served as a presenter on the Six O'Clock News, Crimewatch and other TV shows.

A neighbour, Helen Doble, found Jill's body and called 999.

- The Murder of Jill Dando will air on BBC One on Tuesday, April 2 at 9pm

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