Lord Lucan finally declared dead, and title passes to his son

More than 40 years after Lord Lucan disappeared from a London crime scene, the high court has finally cleared the way for his only son to inherit the earldom, according to a report in The Guardian.

A presumption of death certificate was granted by Mrs Justice Asplin on Wednesday following a hearing that lasted less than an hour. George Bingham, 48, can now assume the family title as the eighth earl of Lucan.

His father, Lord Lucan, vanished after Sandra Rivett, nanny to his three children, was found bludgeoned to death with a length of lead piping at the family home in central London on 7 November 1974.

The attacker also turned on Bingham’s mother, Lady Lucan, beating her severely before she managed to escape and raise the alarm. Lord Lucan’s car was later found abandoned and blood-stained in Newhaven, East Sussex. An inquest jury a year later named him as the murderer.

The hearing at the Rolls Building in central London had been scheduled to last three days but Neil Berriman, Sandra Rivett’s son, withdrew his objections to a death certificate being issued under the 2014 Presumption of Death Act.

The judge made the declaration on the basis that she was satisfied Lord Lucan had not been known to be alive for a period of at least seven years. The death certificate can be revoked if the peer, who would now be aged 81, reappears.

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