Sunday, 3 August 2008

Jill Dando - Pt II

I am still niggling in my mind over the Dando case and the release of Barry George after his second appeal; and retrial. I do not know why this should be; I have no association with anyone involved, her death had no impact upon me and I care not either way what happens to George. The nearest reason I can get is that I am convinced it was some form of political correctness that let him off. The very words p.c. set me off. I can see where such considerations have been of benefit to our daily lives but the all-encompassing grip on our life is too much for me.
There seems to be a considerable body of opinion that there was a miscarriage of justice at the first hearing. Whilst some police actions (poor crime scene procedures, handling of forensic exhibits) have been criticised, there was no suggestion he was fixed up. No mention of Birmingham 6 and their stitched-up contemporaries. The defence barrister was Michael Mansfield and he would not have hesitated to make such allegations if this improved his position. He raised a number of tinged herring points such as a hit squad, hired assassin or his client being to daft to plan and carry out the killing. All in all, Mansfield again demonstrated what an able man he is.
If so many can accept that the guilty finding was wrong, where are the voices of those who can say that it was correct and it is this latest decision that is wrong? No one saying it because none support that idea? There are enough cranks to pump up the volume but where are they? Adopt the Mansfield approach of putting it forward - forcibly and eloquently - enough times and it would gain support.
The line that George was disorganised and mentally incapable should attract the same rebuttal. Was it the perfect hit anyway? He left his expended cartridge case behind - not the mark of a professional who knows how much information could be gleaned from one of these. He was in the area for some while prior to the killing. Even the junior writer for CSI knows that killers do their reconnaissance well ahead of time and only come onto the killing ground when the time is right.
We have heard of the wealth of material found at his flat that went towards the circumstantial case. I do not see that the best use of this was made in pointing out that George was deficient of sandwiches at a picnic. His trophies could - I might say should - have been used to illustrate just what a flawed individual he was and that treating and regarding him as the man on top of the 68 bus was unrealistic. He had a fixation - who can say what he might do in satisfaction of those urges?
I would imagine it was a Mansfield Moment that got his psychologist a place alongside George in the dock. Clever. Attracts and heightens jury attention to his mental state. Here again, p.c. attitudes were foreseen and exploited. "Ah. Poor chap. What a dreadful life. Will I be responsible for sending such a person back to the hell of prison" Sympathy is a powerful emotion and much will be done in it's name.
It is claimed there will be a cold case review by the police. I doubt there will be much enthusiasm for this amongst the Met police. Anyone who might be charged in the future will have 75% of his defence already written. The same old litany of allegations and suggestions of doubt will be trotted out such that the prosecuting authority will not run with any new case.
Yes - there has been a miscarriage of justice - the wrong man has been let go.

After posting this, I read John McVicar in today's Sunday Telegraph. He writes what I think in a well-argued manner. 
I am a bit proud to be alongside someone having John's knowledge of the ways of the criminal

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