Firearms expert says £55 ‘modified’ gun could have killed Dando

TELEVISION presenter Jill Dando could have been killed with a gun which cost just £55 (€69), the Old Bailey has heard.

The Bruni 8mm blank firing “government automatic” bought by accused Barry George was modified to fire live rounds, according to the prosecution.

It could have been the gun used to shoot Dando, 37, through the head on her doorstep in Fulham, west London, in 1999, according to a firearms expert.

Local loner George, 48, who denies murdering the presenter, was photographed wearing a gas mask and holding the weapon with its spring exposed.

He told police in a video- taped interview after his arrest in May 2000 that he had written an entry in a notebook about a “GI 45 8mm blank firing government automatic”.

Asked: “The price £55, is noted. Is that the price that you paid for the gun?”

George replied: “It was in and around that price.”

He said he thought he had bought the gun by mail order from a shop in Sussex. “It came in a box,” he said.

George told police he had not fired a gun of any sort for 10 years since letting off a starter pistol at a friend’s flat.

Shown the photograph of him holding the Bruni, George was asked: “Is that your gun?”

He replied: “It’s very difficult from the angle sir but I believe it to be the replica gun that I had, yes sir.”

He denied it had been modified: “I believe there was a spring type of thing, just for the thing to slide back but I can state categorically that it does not fire anything out.”

Earlier, George had denied knowing the road in which Miss Dando lived was called Gowan Avenue, despite having attended a doctor’s surgery four doors away from her home three years before the killing.

He agreed that a photograph found among thousands of undeveloped pictures of women in his flat was taken outside the surgery.

The trial was adjourned to today.

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