09/07/2013 15:09 BST | Updated 09/07/2013 18:54 BST

Barry George Compensation Denial Over Jill Dando Murder Is A 'Travesty Of Justice'

The sister of the man who spent eight years behind bars after being wrongly convicted of the murder of TV presenter Jill Dando says that denying her brother compensation was a "travesty of justice".

Michelle Diskin spoke out after Barry George failed to win the go-ahead at the Court of Appeal to continue his legal battle for compensation.

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Michelle Diskin (2nd right) reads a statement on behalf of her brother Barry George (left) after the court's ruling

Mr George and his sister were present at the London court for a hearing which ended in a judge rejecting his application for permission to appeal against the dismissal of his claim over compensation by two High Court judges in January.

Speaking outside the Royal Courts of Justice with her brother by her side, Ms Diskin said they were "extremely disappointed".

She said: "We cannot let this go unchallenged. Serving eight years in prison for someone else's crime is not acceptable.

"Everything was taken from this man when the police started what we believe to be a malicious prosecution.

"He lost his home, his furniture, his clothing and all of his possessions, his place within his community and his church family."

She went on: "How did this unjust legal system expect him to start his life over? He can never get back everything that was taken from him."

Ms Diskin said the family would prepare to "stand against this latest travesty of justice".

She declared: "Barry is innocent. He deserves a financial settlement to compensate for all that was taken from him - everything he owned and eight years of his life."

At the High Court in January, Lord Justice Beatson and Mr Justice Irwin rejected Mr George's claim that the Justice Secretary unfairly and unlawfully decided he was "not innocent enough to be compensated".

They ruled that the Secretary of State was "entirely justified in the conclusion he reached".

On Tuesday, Lord Justice Richards dismissed an application by Mr George for permission to challenge the January decision, ruling that Mr George, 53, had "no realistic prospects" of success on appeal.

Mr George went to the High Court seeking a reconsideration of his case which could have opened the way for him to claim an award of up to £500,000 for lost earnings and wrongful imprisonment.

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Jill Dando was shot dead in Fulham in 1999

It was argued on his behalf that the decision to refuse compensation was "defective and contrary to natural justice", but the High Court ruled that he had ''failed the legal test'' to receive an award.

Miss Dando was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, west London, in April 1999.

After his conviction in July 2001, Mr George, of Fulham, was acquitted of killing the 37-year-old BBC presenter at a retrial in August 2008.

Ms Diskin told reporters: "There never was any viable evidence against Barry. This whole case from April 2000 until today has been a smoke and mirrors exercise designed to placate a worried public, and give the impression that justice had been done.

"Well neither the Dando family, nor our family, has seen any justice in the past 13 years."

During Tuesday's hearing Ian Glen QC, representing Mr George "pro bono" - free of charge - submitted that the prosecution case against him was "not viable and not a case where a reasonable jury could have convicted".

In arguing for permission to appeal, Mr Glen said: "We seek an opportunity to make out our argument to the Secretary of State that no reasonable jury, properly directed, could have convicted on the evidence that was available to them at the retrial."

The High Court judges ruled in Mr George's case: "There was indeed a case upon which a reasonable jury, properly directed, could have convicted the claimant of murder."

Mr Glen said in written submissions before Lord Justice Richards: "Many informed observers see the conviction of Barry George as a classic 'miscarriage of justice' when that phrase is used in common parlance."

The QC said Mr George's case was a "matter of public concern".

The High Court ruling in January involved five test cases assembled to decide who is now entitled to payments in "miscarriages of justice" cases following a landmark judgment by the Supreme Court in May 2011.

Mr George's initial claim for compensation for lost earnings and wrongful imprisonment was rejected in January 2010.

His legal challenge against that decision was put on hold until after a panel of nine Supreme Court justices gave their ruling in the case of Andrew Adams - a former aircraft engineer who spent 14 years in jail before his murder conviction was ruled unsafe.

After the Adams ruling, Mr George was told by the Justice Secretary in June 2011 that he was still not entitled to compensation under Section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

The High Court judges rejected Mr George's challenge along with three others, but they found in favour of Ian Lawless, who spent eight years behind bars for murder before being freed by the Court of Appeal in 2009.

Mr Lawless was jailed for life in 2002 after confessing to the murder of retired sea captain Alf Wilkins on the Yarborough estate in Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

The judges ruled that in his case the decision to refuse compensation was legally flawed and must be reconsidered in the light of their ruling.

Permission to appeal has previously been granted in the three other cases dismissed by the High Court and a hearing at the Court of Appeal relating to those is expected in October.