Saturday 1 October 2016

Lord 'Lucky' Lucan to finally be pronounced dead today

Friday is the deadline for any objections to be made against the issuing of a death certificate for Lord Lucan, under the Presumption of Death Act

Camilla Turner

Published 06/11/2015 | 06:51

Lord Lucan. Photo: Getty Images
Lord Lucan. Photo: Getty Images
Lucan in Marbella in 1973, the year before he vanished
St. Joseph's Secondary School, Castlebar, Co. Mayo which used to be the home of Lord Lucan

Friday is the deadline for any objections to be made against the issuing of a death certificate for Lord Lucan, allowing his son and heir George Bingham to become the 8th Earl of the estate.

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The 7th Earl of Lucan has not been seen since November 8, 1974, following the brutal murder of his children's nanny at his family home.

He was declared legally dead in 1999 when his family was granted probate over the estate, but no death certificate was issued.

His son, George Bingham, has never been allowed to inherit his full title of 8th Earl of Lucan, even though his father has been declared legally dead.

 However, the Presumption of Death Act, which came into force last year, has given him a new legal avenue. and he made a new application in the High Court.

Mr Bingham, who works in finance and lives in the St James’s area of west London, announced on October 16, 2015 his new legal proceedings with a public notice in the West End Extra local newspaper.

Objectors to the process have been given 21 days to intervene, which expires today. There will be a High Court Hearing next month.

He has said he wants his father’s title to provide “closure”, but it would also mean that if he becomes a father he would, in turn, be able to pass it on to his own heir.

The disappearance of Lord “Lucky” Lucan remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of British criminal history. George was seven at the time his father vanished after the children’s nanny Sandra Rivett was battered to death in the basement of the family home in Belgravia, west London.

Lucan was last seen soon afterwards at a friend’s house in Uckfield, Surrey, but was never seen again.

Police believed at the time that Lucan had killed the nanny after mistaking her for his estranged wife Veronica, thought to be his intended target.

He was convicted of the murder in his absence 19 Jun 1975.

The couple had fought a bitter custody battle over their children, which Lord Lucan lost.

 George Bingham believes his father is innocent but killed himself to avoid a lifetime of suspicion.

In 1999 the family was granted probate over his estate, though huge gambling debts accrued by Lucan meant there was no money to inherit, and no death certificate was issued, though the probate document stated that he had “died on or since the 8th day of November 1974”.

In the same year, George Bingham was refused permission to take his father’s title and seat in the House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor would not let him take the title because no death certificate had been issued.

However, the Presumption of Death Act, which came into force last year, has given him a new legal avenue.

Mr Bingham said the new rules “provide a simpler and more complete process, which I have been advised to make use of. Call it closure”.

He added: “The High Court gave leave to swear the death of Lord Lucan in 1992. This is an old established procedure for settling a person’s estate when they have gone missing for more than seven years. However, it does not prove death for all purposes.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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