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The son of the nanny murdered by Lord Lucan has hit out at police for failing to arrest a man he claims is the missing peer, and says he fears his suspect will die before being questioned.
Neil Berriman, who this month visited his mother Sandra Rivett’s grave to mark the 46th anniversary of her death on November 7, 1974, has described parts of the new police inquiry as a “farce”.
In January, he gave police “evidence” that Lucan, who would now be 85, was alive and living in a Buddhist commune in Australia.
Emails sent last month show the Metropolitan Police’s cold case unit is investigating Mr Berriman’s claim.
He says the mystery Englishman is now seriously ill, and fears the man will die before facing justice.
Sandra Rivett was murdered in 1974
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Mr Berriman said: “Why is this taking so long? I’m so horrendously frustrated and disappointed.
"This man is unwell and I want him brought to justice before he dies.
“It’s kept me up at night the thought he could die without the Australian police knocking on his door. No one I know can understand why the police have not knocked on his door and interviewed him.
“They have credible evidence that this man is one of the most notorious killers in history.
“What everyone wants is for him to die. The authorities want him to die so that this ‘problem’ – as they see it – just goes away.
“I want justice for Sandra. I am the son of a murder victim and I want justice as well.
"The establishment have closed ranks on this. I’m a massive thorn in their side. They didn’t want him to be found.”
Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan
(Image: Daily Record)
How killer with connections Lord Lucan 'used friends in high places to get away'
'Day I was handed envelope and discovered I was son of Lord Lucan's murdered nanny'
The police have several pictures and videos of the man Mr Berriman believes is Lucan, who disappeared after Sandra was killed at his mews home in Belgravia, Central London.
Lucan had run up huge gambling debts, his marriage to Lady Veronica Lucan had collapsed and the couple were battling for custody of their three children. Police think he attacked Sandra with a lead pipe after mistaking her for his wife.
There were rumours he had committed suicide by throwing himself off a cross-Channel ferry from Newhaven days later.
But no body was ever washed up and it has long been suspected that powerful friends helped him escape to avoid a lengthy prison sentence.
Mr Berriman, 52, a building contractor and father-of-two from Milland, West Sussex, discovered 12 years ago that he was Sandra’s secret son and had been adopted soon after he was born.
The home of Lord Lucan on 46 Lower Belgrave Street, London, SW1
When the High Court formally declared Lucan dead on February 3, 2016, he received a detailed tip by letter that Lucan was, in fact, alive.
He has since spent £30,000 investigating the claim. He said: “I’ve put in so much hard work and nothing has happened to take us forward. I have given the police all the evidence I gathered.
“I have made several trips to visit the Yard in London this year. I gave them so much evidence.
“On one occasion they didn’t even have the right computer equipment to download all my information.
“It’s a farce.”
Lord Lucan married Veronica Duncan in November 1963
After giving police his information, he had several meetings with the Yard but then the pandemic hit.
In an email last month Scotland Yard told him: “Please be assured that we are progressing matters as quickly as we can and pursuing a number of lines of enquiry having completed already a lot of enquiries to date.”
Mr Berriman said: “I did have a call last week from Scotland Yard and they reassured me that their investigation is continuing, but said the Covid-19 pandemic had caused delays.
“I believe some of their team are as frustrated by the lack of progress as I am.
"They have been in regular contact with me, taken evidence and a statement from me, but at the end of the day nine months have passed and nothing has happened.
"I’m certain this man is Lord Lucan. If it’s not, why haven’t they told me it’s NOT him?
Lord Lucan with Annabel Birley in 1973
“They have had pictures and video for nine months now, which they clearly must have had experts analyse.”
Mr Berriman is convinced the mystery man in Australia is Lucan because of the information he was given in the original tip, and because his suspect is English, in the right age group and speaks with a posh accent.
An officer working on the case for Scotland Yard has sent Mr Berriman emails over the past month.
In the October 15 email, they wrote: “We have been progressing all matters as soon as we can and when we have the information available to do so.
"We have been doing all we can whilst restricted by the world pandemic that has taken place and is still ongoing.
“However what can sometimes seem as simple enquiries to those not involved in our line of work can often be complex and take time especially when dealing with other countries and having to abide by the legislation that is in place in both countries and the international agreements that are in place between the two countries.
Neil Berriman at his mum's grave in Croydon
(Image: Daily Mirror/Ian Vogler)
“We also have to establish our own lines of enquiry for all of the information we are provided with and check the details we have been provided. We do this for all investigations.”
And on October 2, they wrote: “We are reviewing all the material you have provided us with and checking the information as well as conducting new investigative lines of enquiry that should assist us in this investigation.
“These matters take time and I am trying to progress things as quickly as possible however I am reliant upon other departments and agencies to assist with certain aspects.”
Scotland Yard said today that they were “not aware” of any developments in the Lucan investigation.
Lucan probe 'shut down'
A top detective claims he tried to reopen the Lucan probe 20 years ago but was slapped down.
The Detective Chief Superintendent, who we agreed not to name, said: “A more senior officer found out what I was going to do and took the stuff away from me and that was the end of it.
“In a nutshell, he told me to put a stop to it. I don’t know why. There was clearly a reason why they didn’t want to probe this – I do not know what that was.
"The investigation should have been re-opened. In the early 2000s there was a huge probability Lucan was still alive.
“I couldn’t get my head around why this wasn’t at the top of the agenda.
"In the 1970s and 1980s you didn’t have communication systems you have now – you could disappear and literally never be heard from again because you didn’t have a footprint.
“But some cases the Met just wouldn’t look at.”