Barry George Loses Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Bid over Jill Dando Murder

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By Ewan Palmer | January 26, 2013 6:09 AM EST

Barry George was released in 2009 following as retrial (Reuters)

The man who was falsely imprisoned for eight years for the murder of Jill Dando has lost his high court bid for compensation.

Two judges rejected Barry George's claim that the justice secretary unfairly and unlawfully decided he was "not innocent enough to be compensated".

Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Irwin declared the state was "entirely justified in the conclusion" to not reward the 52-year-old compensation after wrongly being imprisoned.

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."

George, 52, spent eight years in jail for the murder of the BBC presenter, who was shot dead on her doorstep in 1999. After being sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for Dando's murder, he was acquitted following a retrial in 2008 and freed in 2009.

He appealed to the court for compensation of £500,000 for loss of earnings and wrongful imprisonment.

But the judges said he "failed the legal test" to receive any award. Ian Glen QC, representing George, described the ruling as "defective and contrary to natural justice".

His appeal was one of five test cases to decide who should be entitled to compensation following a landmark decision by the supreme court in May 2011 which redefined what constituted a miscarriage of justice.

Previously, compensation could only be paid out if the defendant could prove they were entirely innocent.

Three other men whose convictions were later thrown out also lost their appeal for compensation. However, Ian Lawless, who was jailed for eight years for murdering retired sea captain Alf Wilkins in 2002.

Despite confessing to the killing, his conviction was later ruled unsafe after medical evidence revealed Lawless had a "pathological need for attention".

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