When Jill Dando was shot dead in 1999, the public outcry over her murder was huge and a massive police operation to identify her killer was launched by police. With little or no forensic evidence to go on, investigators eventually discovered the name of Barry George - a local man with a history of strange behaviour, violent offences against women and a seeming psychological need to associate himself with famous people. At one previous trial, he presented himself under the name of Paul Gadd - the real name of disgraced former glam rock singer Gary Glitter.
In 2001, George was convicted of the murder, but suspicions about the soundness of the verdict were quick to follow. His conviction was quashed in 2007 and he was finally exonerated by a retrial in 2008. Much of the original evidence from his first trial was ruled inadmissable at this second trial, leaving a paucity of evidence against George and a unanimous verdict of not guilty.
The Court of Appeal found that George's conviction had largely come about from a single speck of gunpowder residue found in the fibres of his coat that was considered to be a 'match' against the residues found on Dando's clothes. However, scientific advice was changed after reviews discovered that accidental matches for single specks could be caused by any number of scenarios. With only five types of the particular type of powder found, it is the equivalent of matching blood type rather than DNA.
Despite the unsoundness of his conviction, and having spent 7 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, George has lost all attempts to gain compensation from the court system.