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Stand Against Injustice by Michelle Diskin Bates - Book Tour

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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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“Police have today named the man in custody for the murder of Jill Dando . . .”
The newscaster’s voice interrupted my reverie and I became vaguely attentive. Oh good, I mused with an absentminded detachment, smoothing pink blusher onto my cheeks. It’s about time someone was brought to justice for that awful crime. That poor family, I’m sure it’s been about a year now.
Not having lived in the UK since 1973, I hadn’t really been following the case about the senseless murder of a much-loved TV presenter; it was a crime that had taken place in London and I’d felt somewhat removed from it. The case did remind me, though, of the killing of Veronica Guerin in Dublin. Also a journalist, she was killed because she had been investigating organised crime. She had been targeted before as a warning, shot in the leg on her doorstep, but had survived. Then, on 26th June 1996, she was gunned down whilst sitting in her car, which was stopped at traffic lights on the outskirts of Dublin. A gunman riding pillion on a motorcycle shot her six times, fatally injuring her, before the pair fled the scene. To me, there were parallels with the Dando case: both women worked against the criminal fraternity in a very public way, both had been attacked on their doorsteps, and both were now dead.
Of course, we couldn’t help but be aware of the Dando killing, even in Ireland. Jill’s lovely smiling face, the iconic image of her wearing that long red sequinned dress, her recent engagement to renowned gynaecologist Alan Farthing – all of this had been reported on news channels here, too. It seemed inconceivable that the police had not been able to find her killer yet.
“. . . his name is Barry Bulsara, and he lives in the Fulham area . . .” the newscaster continued.
The mascara wand in my hand froze halfway to my eye. I stood there transfixed gazing into the mirror in the hallway, my mouth open and my eyes open even wider, but I was blind, seeing nothing but mist. My breath caught in my throat as tremors started to course through my body and I remember flushing hot and cold. What just happened? I couldn’t have heard that right. Say it again, oh please, say it again. I stood rooted to the spot, willing the newsreader to repeat her words, to confirm the name that I couldn’t believe I’d just heard . . . Bulsara. That was the name my brother Barry had used when he’d given me his email address a couple of years ago, although we’d never actually written to each other.
“It’s Freddy Mercury’s real name,” he’d explained. “He’s the lead singer with Queen. They’re my favourite rock band.”
Go on, say it! I silently implored again, but the newscaster didn’t comply. She just went on relaying today’s news to the RTÉ listenership. I didn’t hear another word of it. 

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