Jill Dando probe ‘ignored threats’

Barry George

A television presenter who worked with Jill Dando has said the pair received similar kidnap and rape threats just weeks before the star was murdered.

Alice Beer, who worked alongside Dando on the BBC, said she received the sinister letter in her BBC mail, which bosses had passed on to police.

The 49-year-old said she had not been interviewed by officers either before or after Dando was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, west London, in April 1999.

Barry George, whose family is from Cork, was initially convicted in July 2001 but was acquitted of killing the 37-year-old presenter at a retrial in August 2008.

Ms Beer said: “There are a lot of questions I would like answering. They’ve been at the back of my mind. I waited for a call from the police after Jill’s death — but it never came. Nobody spoke to me about the threat.

“Nobody questioned anything. If no stone were left unturned in that investigation then I would have been called.”

Now a presenter on ITV, Ms Beer was working on BBC consumer programme Watchdog when she received the threats in March 1999. Her colleague, Anne Robinson, received a death threat by phone three days after the killing, which reportedly said: “From Serbia, going to kill Anne Robinson, Alice Beer, and two others.”

Ms Beer said she believed her threat was penned by the same perpetrator that threatened Dando. “The letters were in the same handwriting from a person claiming they wanted to capture and rape us,” she said.

The murder had been a “slick” and “professional” operation, she added.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “The Metropolitan Police Service fully investigated the circumstances into the murder of Jill Dando. Two trials took place and the investigation was subject to an internal review.

“If any new information comes to our attention then this will be investigated.”

Read more of today’s news here


Lifestyle

As online retailers report record sales in loungewear, classic cuffed sweatpants have become a hot ticket item. Already a go-to look for off-duty celebs, the humble sweatsuit cemented its status when Tom Ford showed 80s-inspired grey marl sportswear pieces in his autumn winter collection earlier this year.Fashion: don't sweat it!

Seeking inspiration for all that extra time at home? Use it to discover the art of cooking and baking with your children.Fun & Food: The family that cooks together...

W E DON’T have a large amount of activities to do right now. So why not get a larger mount? If those opening lines give you a headache, don’t worry — at least you weren’t hit on the head with a mace.GameTech: Bannerlord flies the flag for escapism

Our window on the world opens wide for tonight.Homes from Mayo, Tyrone and Cork tonight on RTÉ series Home of the Year

More From The Irish Examiner