Jill Dando may have been 'murdered by mistake' after hitman shot wrong journalist

27 June 2022, 10:05 | Updated: 26 September 2023, 07:59

Was Jill Dando murdered by mistake?
Was Jill Dando murdered by mistake? Picture: Alamy/Getty

By StephenRigley

Jill Dando may have been gunned down on her doorstep by mistake by a Russian hitman who meant to target another journalist, shocking documents submitted to a Paris court suggest.

Papers submitted to a Paris court allege Elite model agency boss Gerald Marie - who is accused of raping several women - wanted BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth "dealt with" in revenge for her exposing his firm.

But the hitman could have mistaken Jill Dando for the actual target, the documents say as lawyers reportedly argue the mix up may have taken place due to the similarities between Ms Dando and Ms Brinkworth

It was also said that Jill's fiance, Alan Farthing, was Lisa's doctor.

Lawyers in the documents refer to a conversation witnessed by former Elite executive Omar Harfouch in which Marie ordered a member of the Russian mafia to "deal with a problem," the Daily Mail reports.

The documents from French law firm Bourdon Associes reportedly say: "Shortly thereafter… a BBC journalist, Jill Dando, was shot dead in April 1999."I

Both of the women were blonde, in their 30s and of similar height and stature.

Jill Dando
Jill Dando. Picture: Alamy
Lisa Brinkworth
Lisa Brinkworth. Picture: Getty

Jill was gunned down in the middle of the day on her doorstep in Fulham, London, on April 26, 1999.

The brutal slaying of the Crimewatch presenter remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in the UK of the last 20 years and although stalker Barry George was convicted in 2001, he was acquitted in 2008 and the investigation remains open.

Read More: Anni Dewani's 'lowlife' killer who planned honeymoon murder freed after eight years

Read More: Murder probe after man, 31, stabbed to death outside Hounslow pub

Miss Brinkworth alleges she was assaulted after a dinner with friends and Marie, when he pinned her down to a chair at a club.

Gerald Marie, 72, the former boss of the Elite modelling agency, is being investigated over alleged sexual assaults and rapes involving at least 11 women.

Flowers left at Jill Dando murder scene
Flowers left at Jill Dando murder scene. Picture: Alamy
Police work at Jill Dando murder scene
Police work at Jill Dando murder scene. Picture: Alamy

Ms Brinkworth is one of the women who has levelled accusations against the mogul - claiming he assaulted her in 1998 while she was working undercover for the corporation to expose sex crimes in the fashion industry.

The former journalist was kept in safe houses following the scoop and it's claimed she was urged not to take legal action against Marie.

Under French laws, sexual abuse claims must be reported within 20 years - but papers reveal the lawyers argue the statute should be overlooked in the case as she spent years fearing for her safety.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Exclusive
LBC has been speaking to the RAF

Russian jets ‘simulate bombing raids’ on Britain as RAF faces monthly scramble to defend UK airspace

Israel-Hamas conflict

UK and Jordan drop aid supplies to Gaza City hospital

Parents can apply for the certificate from 9am

'Baby loss certificates' introduced for parents who lose baby before 24 weeks, as ministers consider statutory leave

The UK is set to see more rain on Thursday

Flood warnings as yet more heavy rain brings travel chaos, with 70mph winds battering the coasts

Alabama Frozen Embryos

Hospital pauses IVF in wake of ruling saying frozen embryos are children

The baby's birth certificate was damaged in a passport application

Jewish father whose baby had 'Israel' defaced from baby's birth certificate 'will sue the staff members responsible'

Robin Windsor was 'found dead in a London hotel'

Friends launched frantic three-day hunt for Strictly star Robin Windsor before he 'was found dead in hotel in London'

China San Diego Panda Diplomacy

China plans to send San Diego Zoo more pandas, reigniting panda diplomacy

Exclusive
The baby's birth certificate was damaged in a passport application

Staff members 'sacked' after 'Israel' is scrubbed off Jewish baby's birth certificate on passport application

Exclusive
Barnaby Webber's mother hit out at police who shared details about on her son's death

Police officer who viewed bodycam footage of Barnaby Webber dying in street after Nottingham attack sacked

Lindsay Hoyle apologised to MPs

Commons Speaker fighting for his political life as dozens of MPs call for him to go after sparking chaos over Gaza vote

A bucket rests next to caution tape on a beach in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Florida

Girl ‘killed after hole she dug in sand collapsed on Florida beach’

President Joe Biden visits CJ’s Cafe in Los Angeles

Joe Biden cancels student loan debt for 153,000 borrowers

Beyonce

Beyonce becomes first black woman to top Billboard’s country music chart

The logo for Boeing appears on a screen above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Boeing ousts head of 737 jetliner programme weeks after panel blowout

Fans are livid after the realisation.

'This is the worst day': Cadbury fans left furious after realising Easter chocolate favourite has been discontinued