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'Not guilty' plea indicated in Dando case

LONDON, England -- The man accused of murdering leading British TV presenter Jill Dando will stand trial at the Old Bailey on February 26 next year, a judge has ruled.

Barry Michael George, 40, of Fulham, west London, was remanded in custody after a 15-minute hearing at the court when the trial date was fixed.

He only answered "yes" to his name when he appeared in dock, flanked by three prison officers in the wood-panelled Number One Court before the Recorder of London, Judge Michael Hyam.

George was not arraigned today, but his counsel Michael Mansfield QC, indicated he would deny the charge. "I have indicated on the form it would be a plea of not guilty," he told the court.

Miss Dando, the popular presenter of BBC television's "Crimewatch" programme, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head on the doorstep of her Fulham home in April last year.

The trial is expected to last six weeks.



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