Barry George, the man who was convicted and later cleared of the murder of Jill Dando, has told The Independent of his anger at being “vilified” by journalists.
I have been persecuted, vilified and intimidated by certain sections of the journalistic society – and I must say certain sections because it is mainly the red tops. The words they use I find incredible. These names they call me are very hurtful and offensive.
He reveals that at the moment he is living on money won from libel cases.
Earlier this month he received “substantial” damages from the Daily Mirror over stories claiming that he was obsessed with Cheryl Cole and journalist Kay Burley.
In December 2009, The Sun and News of the World paid George substantial damagesover stories which questioned his acquittal for the Dando murder.
George denies that he was paid “anywhere near” the £100,000 that has been quoted for interview he gave to the News of the World upon his release in August 2008. Press Gazette reported at the time that it was £50,000 from the News of the World and £30,000 from Sky.
It’s a shame that in all his anger at the press, George doesn’t note the work of investigative journalists such as Don Hale and the BBC’s Raphael Rowe who did so much to highlight the shakiness of his conviction and ultimately get him released.