Dando accused's brain 'severely abnormal'

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The Independent Online

The man accused of killing the television presenter Jill Dando will not be giving evidence in his own defence, the Old Bailey heard yesterday.

Lawyers for Barry George, 48, called a neuro-psychiatrist, who explained that a brain scan of the defendant had shown severe abnormalities. Mr George, who is epileptic and has an IQ in the lowest 5 per cent of the population, scored even lower – bottom 1 per cent – in memory and tests to see how he carried out certain tasks.

Professor Michael Kopelman said the defendant experienced prolonged "absence attacks" lasting minutes or sometimes hours.

"Mr George described to me that he can be aware of what is going on around him but he just cannot respond," said Professor Kopelman, adding that there was a family history of epilepsy as well as "severe cognitive impairment".

Mr George denies murdering the Crimewatch presenter, who was shot dead on her doorstep in Fulham, south-west London, in 1999. The six-week trial is expected to begin drawing to a close next week.