Top detective to review Dando case

A senior Scotland Yard detective was tonight given the go-ahead to review evidence in the Jill Dando case in an attempt to identify new leads.

Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who led the cash-for-honours inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Hamish Campbell, who was in charge of the original Dando inquiry, and Commander Simon Foy, head of the Yard's homicide and serious crime unit, met today to discuss the case.

Mr Yates said tonight that Mr Foy would now lead a team of specialist officers from Homicide Command in a re-examination of evidence in the wake of the acquittal of Barry George on Friday.

He said: "As with all unsolved murders, this case remains open and subject to review. A £50,000 reward from the charity Crimestoppers still remains available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Jill's murderer.

"We continue to appeal for any new information and keep an open mind in relation to this case.

"This investigation has been subject to numerous reviews and assessments since 1999, by the Met's internal review group, the Crown Prosecution Service, Criminal Case Review Commission, two senior independent Treasury Council and the Court of Appeal.

"This remains a Met police investigation, officers from the Homicide Command from the Specialist Crime Directorate, led by Commander Simon Foy, will today begin the process of further assessment and scrutiny, of the available evidence, to establish whether there are further potential investigative leads in this case."

The announcement came as Mr George said in a television interview that he did not believe Miss Dando's killer would ever be found.

In an interview with Sky News, the 48-year-old said: "To be quite honest and practical, I don't think they'll ever find who done it."

He insisted he was not responsible for the 1999 killing for which he spent eight years in jail.

"I will maintain that I will look anyone in the eye and state I have not killed Jill Dando."

While Mr George expressed sympathy for Miss Dando's family, he was bitter about being wrongly imprisoned.

"I've missed out on so much. I should have been getting on with my life. Who knows what I could have done and achieved?".

Mr Foy said police were "disappointed" with the not guilty verdict as Mr George walked free following a retrial at the Old Bailey on Friday.

He now faces trawling through 2,500 witness statements and 3,700 exhibits for new clues about the killing of the TV presenter on her own west London doorstep in 1999.

But a forensic medicine expert said today that the Metropolitan police have probably conducted "at least one" such review already, when Mr George first appealed.

Anthony Busuttil, Professor Emeritus of Forensic Medicine at Edinburgh University, said: "A cold case review is triggered if there is an appeal. Assuming that all the evidence they had was gone through with a fine-tooth comb there is nowhere else they can go."

He said officers would need a new suspect, perhaps someone arrested for another crime, a tip-off or a confession from a prisoner to make a breakthrough in the case.

But advances in DNA techniques could mean that officers could use old exhibits to uncover new evidence, he said.

"The only new forensic technique available to the police is DNA analysis. Infinitesimally small quantities are needed now to produce a match. I would imagine that the clothing will be looked at very closely indeed.

"It is not an impossibility that something will turn up and given the high profile of the case people's memory might be jogged and they could come forward with something new."

Meanwhile, Sion Jenkins, who was wrongly convicted of killing his foster daughter Billie-Jo Jenkins, said today that cases like that of Mr George highlighted the problem of miscarriages of justice.

He told GMTV: "Why there are so many? What are the causes of it?

"How can we correct it? How can we support people who have been wrongly convicted? None of that is discussed within the media, it's just simply left. And because of that we don't learn from it."

The acquittal of Mr George after eight years behind bars leaves police no nearer to catching Miss Dando's killer than they were when the Crimewatch presenter was shot dead.

Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt

Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
Life and Style

The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game