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Stand Against Injustice by Michelle Diskin
Stand Against Injustice
by Michelle Diskin
On April 26, 1999, BBC TV presenter Jill Dando was murdered outside her home in London. Barry George was convicted and imprisoned for the murder but was later acquitted after an appeal and retrial. Stand Against Injustice is the powerful memoir of the sister of Barry George. For the first time, Michelle Diskin Bates tells her story, the human side and truth behind one of recent history’s most high profile and damaging miscarriages of justice whose life is inextricably interwoven in the drama, the trauma, the conspiracy and the fight for justice. A self-confessed ‘ordinary housewife’, Michelle’s voice weaves the personal everyday struggles that bring depth, color, and passion into what is an extraordinary account. A troubled childhood weighted with overbearing responsibility, fear and insecurity, depression, and the challenges of marriage and adult relationships, Michelle’s life has never been easy. However, the one constant in her life – her faith in God – underpins and provides the foundation upon which she now stands – against injustice.
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“We find the defendant not guilty.” YES! It was a unanimous verdict. I jumped out of my seat and punched the air with both hands. For the last eight years, I had kept my emotions locked away from the public gaze, but not today. Today, the whole world would be allowed to see. I did not hide my elation. This was what we’d worked so long for.
Thank you, God. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Catching the eye of a jury member, I couldn’t resist mouthing ‘thank you’ to him, too. I wanted those twelve men and women to know how much I appreciated what they had done. They had brought our eight year nightmare to an end. Alleluia and praise the Lord. My heart was bubbling over with joy.
Poor Barry looked incredulous and lost, standing in the dock. It was obvious he didn’t know what to do next. He looked over to the door leading from the dock into the court, but no one unlocked it for him. The bolt was on our side and now I wish I’d been more courageous.
The judge declared, “Mr George is entitled to be treated as an innocent man.” Yet, he wasn’t allowed to leave the court by the courtroom door like all the other free men and women. He had to be led away from the dock and back down the narrow concrete stairs to the cells to be processed out, to sign papers and such, and we couldn’t go with him. We couldn’t even hug him, but my disappointment at this was tempered only with the knowledge that we would be together soon, and that nobody could take him away from us after that.
About the Author
Michelle Diskin Bates is a staunch campaigner for those who are victims of miscarriages of justice. She currently resides in Northamptonshire, England, with her husband, Peter.