Key figures in a courtroom drama that unfolded as the world watched

The QC
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The colleague

In the days after the murder of his fellow Crimewatch presenter, Nick Ross bore the face of a man haunted by incomprehension and the fear that he too was on the hit list of Jill Dando's killer.

The BBC had provided bodyguards and extra security for the 53-year-old presenter but, as it became clear that the killing was more likely to have been the work of an obsessed loner, Mr Ross turned to a calmer analysis.

At the Old Bailey yesterday, Mr Ross said he thought Barry George was a danger to society but that he wished him a "long, happy and fulfilling life". He added: "Nothing can bring Jill back to life."

Mr Ross, who lives in west London, refused to talk publicly of the case in the months after the murder, to protect Ms Dando's family, he said. He was seen frequently in the public gallery during the trial.

By Chris Gray

The Brotherr

Nigel Dando was among the first to hear of his sister's death when it appeared as a newsflash on the television in the newsroom of the Bristol Evening Post where he was working as a journalist.

Mr Dando, 49, had become chief reporter at the paper and had settled with his wife near Gloucester. He was in the head office when he heard that "my little sister" was dead.

A journalist friend from the Daily Mail had phoned to say something had happened to Jill Dando. Nigel tried to call his sister and her fiancé Alan Farthing, to no avail. Then he saw the newsflash.

Since the media tumult immediately after his sister's death, Mr Dando, who joined BBC Bristol in January, has managed to keep himself out of the spotlight, speaking to the media only to publicise the appeal fund for a crime research centre in Jill Dando's memory.

By Chris Gray

The Judge

Mr Justice Gage comes from distinguished legal stock and is well used to presiding over high-profile murder cases.

Sir William Marcus Gage, 63, followed his circuit judge father, Connolly Hugh Gage, into the legal profession. Educated at Repton and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, he was a lieutenant in the Irish Guards during his national service and was called to the Bar in 1963. He has been a High Court judge since 1993 and was presiding judge in the south-eastern circuit from 1997 to last year.

During that time he sat at Lewes Crown Court to hear the case against Sion Jenkins, the former deputy headmaster, who was jailed for life in 1998 for the murder of his teenage foster daughter Billie-Jo.

Throughout the intense media focus on the Dando case, the judge urged jurors to keep "cool heads".

By Cahal Milmo

The QC

As the eyes of the media fell on the Old Bailey on 4 May for the first day of the Jill Dando trial, Orlando Pownall QC began to present the evidence that would convict her killer.

The 48-year-old barrister had to convey both the emotions behind the presenter's killing and the cold logic of the web of circumstantial evidence on which his case rested.

Standing in Number One Court, he said Barry George would be proved to have murdered Ms Dando by a "jigsaw" of evidence that led "irresistibly" to guilt. For Mr Pownall, the leading senior Treasury counsel, the Dando case was the biggest of a career that began when he was called to the Bar in 1975.

He had previously appeared for the Crown in police corruption cases, Yardie trials and as a junior counsel in a number of IRA prosecutions. He is married with three children.

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