George accepts damages over false stalking claims

BARRY GEORGE, who was cleared of murdering Jill Dando, yesterday accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages over claims that he was obsessed with TV personalities Cheryl Cole and Kay Burley.

Mr George, who was acquitted of the crime after a retrial in August 2008, was at London’s High Court with his sister – who lives in Ballincollig, Co Cork – Michelle Diskin, who led the campaign to prove his innocence after his 2001 conviction.

His counsel, Gordon Bishop, told Mr Justice Eady that he had brought the case over articles in the Sunday Mirror, The People and on the Daily Mirror website in October and November 2008.

It was alleged that Mr George had downloaded pictures of Sky TV presenter Ms Burley on to his computer and that he had claimed that he loved her and she loved him, and that he had illegally attempted to obtain drugs from a hospital by fraudulently claiming to be someone else. It was also claimed that he had threatened to pester and harass Ms Cole and those working with her so that he could meet the X Factor judge.

Mr Bishop said it was now accepted by MGN Ltd that all those allegations, together with a claim that Mr George had harassed and stalked a nurse, were false.

It withdrew them and had agreed to pay Mr George substantial damages and his costs. MGN’s solicitor, Emily Barber, said that it apologised for any hurt and distress Mr George had felt.

Mr George’s solicitor, Nick Baird, said that he was very pleased with the result.

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