The son of a nanny murdered by Lord Lucan has blasted police for not arresting a man living in an Australian Buddhist commune who he claims is the infamous killer.
Neil Berriman’s mother Sandra Rivett was murdered by Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, in November 1974. He has has never been seen since.
Mr Berriman, from West Sussex, sensationally claimed in January that Lucan is alive and well and living as a Buddhist in Australia.
He also claimed that Bingham is housebound and awaiting a major operation after decades living Down Under. He spoke to the Met who reassured him they will look into his claims.
Now, Mr Berriman has described parts of a new police inquiry as a ‘farce’ and fears Bingham, who would now be 85, could die before he is ever brought to justice.
Neil Berriman, left, has blasted police for not arresting a man living in an Australian Buddhist commune who he claims is her infamous killer.Right, file image of Lord Lucan
The father-of-two would later find out he was Sandra Rivett’s (pictured) son, and 12 years ago began searching for Lucan
‘Why is this taking so long? I’m so horrendously frustrated and disappointed,’ he told the Daily Mirror.
‘This man is unwell and I want him brought to justice before he dies.’
He added that the police 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,’ he told the publication.
Scotland Yard told MailOnline earlier this year that Sandra Rivett’s case remains ‘unsolved’ and ‘open’ more than 45 years after she was bludgeoned to death with a length of lead piping and her body then stuffed into a mail-sack in Lucan’s basement.
Lord Richard John Bingham with his fiancee Veronica Duncan on the announcement of their engagement in 1963
Lord Lucan’s blood-stained car was found abandoned in East Sussex, but he was never successfully traced, and despite sightings in countries all over the globe the most likely theory was that he committed suicide by scuttling the powerboat he kept at Newhaven and jumping in the sea with rocks in his pockets.
In 1975, an inquest jury declared Lucan to have been Ms Rivett’s killer, and in 2016 a court issued a ‘presumption of death’ certificate for him, a ruling that cleared the way for the couple’s son, George Bingham, to become the 8th Earl of Lucan.
But in January, in a quite extraordinary claim, 52-year-old Neil Berriman says he has located Lucan, who he says is now a Buddhist who turned 85 last month but is seriously ill.
Neil Berriman’s mother Sandra Rivett was murdered by Richard John Bingham, the 7th Earl of Lucan, in November 197
Mr Berriman claimed the peer originally lived in Perth after escaping to Australia, but moved to another part of the country after falling out with friends.
However, he told the Mirror that the latest police investigation has been a ‘farce’.
‘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.’
Father-of-two Mr Berriman, who lives in West Sussex, with his wife Kim, only learned he was Ms Rivett’s son in 2007.
29-year-old Sandra was — an inquest ruled in 1975 — most likely murdered by Lucan, who’d mistaken her for his estranged wife, Veronica, with whom he was locked in a bitter custody battle.
After killing Ms Rivett (right) Lord Lucan’s (left) blood-stained car was later found abandoned in Newhaven, East Sussex, but he was never successfully traced
John Bingham, Lord Lucan is pictured with his wife Veronica Duncan in October 1963
John Richard Bingham, Earl of Lucan, and Veronica Duncan after their marriage
Around 13 years ago Mr Berriman opened brown envelope left to him by his adoptive mother, Audrey, when she died, which revealed Ms Rivett was his birth mother. He then had to come to terms with the fact she was brutally murdered in the darkened basement kitchen of the Lucan family’s Belgravia home.
Since then he has been hunting for Lucan himself.
Detectives believe the aristocrat – an abusive husband and heavy gambler nicknamed ‘Lucky Lucan’ – intended to murder his wife and killed the nanny by mistake.
Lucan was never seen in public again, and his body was never found, leading to decades of fevered speculation about his whereabouts.
Despite Lord Lucan being formally declared dead in February 2016, Mr Berriman claimed he acted on a detailed tip that he was still alive.
He spent £30,000 of his own money on private investigations into Lord Lucan’s supposed whereabouts.
He said: ‘He has been alive all this time. Lying about who he is. Lying about it to his new friends.
Lady Lucan in 2017 (left) and with Lord Lucan before they married on November 20 1974
‘They are fully aware he is a mystery elderly Englishman and not who he is claiming to be.
‘The people he lives with know he has a mystery past and what he tells them does not add up. They have had their suspicions for many years.
‘Lucan is a deceitful conman and he is the man who murdered my mother.’
In 1975, an inquest jury declared Lucan to have been Ms Rivett’s killer.
The High Court declared him dead for probate purposes in 1999, but there have been scores of reported sightings around the world, in countries including Australia, Ireland, South Africa and New Zealand.
In an ITV documentary in 2017, Lady Lucan said she believed Lord Lucan had jumped off a ferry shortly after the killing.
‘I would say he got on the ferry and jumped off in the middle of the Channel in the way of the propellers so that his remains wouldn’t be found,’ she said, calling what she believed to be his final act ‘brave.’
Lady Lucan was found dead in September 2017 at her home in Belgravia where her husband Lord Lucan famously disappeared.
Lady Lucan was one of the last people to see her husband alive.
The countess was in the house watching TV in her bedroom that night when the 29-year-old nanny Sandra Rivett was killed as she went downstairs to the unlit basement to make her employer a cup of tea.
The countess contends that she disturbed her husband after the fatal assault. He hit her four times with a length of bandaged metal piping before she grabbed his genitals.
Lord Lucan, right, with his friend Sir James Goldsmith, father of Zac Goldsmith, in a rare colour photo of the fugitive
Recalling the attack she said: ‘I’d started moving towards the cloakroom when someone rushed out and hit me about four times on the head with something hard. I screamed.
‘A voice said: ‘Shut up!’ I just had time to register that the man was my husband when he thrust three gloved fingers down my throat.
‘At this point, I started fighting back in earnest, but he switched tactics — trying to strangle me and then to gouge out my eyes. I gasped: ‘Please don’t kill me, John!’
Then, after she had persuaded her husband to get her a glass of water, she fled to a nearby pub and raised the alarm.
She recalled: ‘He told me, ‘I’ll go to Broadmoor for this’. [Our children] George and Camilla were seven and three when it happened, and asleep in bed.’
Lord Lucan fled the murder scene in a car he had borrowed.
His body has never been found.
What happened to Lord Lucan, and is he still alive? The four most likely theories about his disappearance
Theory one: Lucan drowned himself off Newhaven after murdering the nanny
Lord Lucan’s friend James Wilson, who gambled with him at London’s Clermont Club, said five years ago he believes Lucan killed himself after murdering Ms Rivet.
Mr Wilson said he filled his pockets with rocks and stones before jumping off his scuppered speedboat in Newhaven Harbour just hours after the killing.
He told the Telegraph in 2015: ‘I believe that when he realised he had killed the nanny, the remorse, guilt and panic led him to commit suicide. He must have realised he only had two options open to him; hand himself in or kill himself. Having lost the gamble he chose the latter’.
In an ITV documentary before her death in 2017, Lady Lucan said she believed Lord Lucan had jumped off a ferry shortly after the killing.
‘I would say he got on the ferry and jumped off in the middle of the Channel in the way of the propellers so that his remains wouldn’t be found’.
Theory 2: Lucan fled to Africa – and lived there quietly until he died in 2000
Shirley Robey, who worked for Lucan’s casion owner John Aspinall claimed in 2012 she overheard conversations with Lucan’s friend Sir James Goldsmith, father of Zac Goldsmith in the early 1980s.
She said the pair said Lucan was in Africa, adding: ‘ I knew he was hiding, I knew he was in Africa, I knew we were hushing it up. I knew he’d fallen out with his wife and I knew it was a major secret but for whatever reason I didn’t appreciate there had been a murder until some years later. If I’d have known, I think I would have handled things quite differently. In fact I know I would have done’. She claims she heard he died in 2000, in his mid-60s.
Theory 3: Lucan shot himself and was fed to a tiger called Zorra in a Kent zoo
Philippe Marcq, another of Lucan’s casino friends, told MailOnline previously that friends of the Earl disposed of his body at Howletts zoo near Canterbury, set up as a private zoo in 1957 by John Aspinall, another friend of Lucan’s.
Mr Marcq said he was told story by Lucan’s friend Stephen Raphael. It is claimed a pistol was offered to Lucan who took it, went into a room on his own and shot himself dead and the friends removed his body.
Mr Marcq said: ‘I was stunned when Stephen told me this. But I believed what he told me 100 per cent’.
Aspinall’s mother, Lady Osborne, the grandmother of former Chancellor George Osborne, apparently told police: ‘The last I heard of him, he was being fed to the tigers at my son’s zoo.’
Police are said to have subsequently descended on Howletts, where a contemptuous John Aspinall told them: ‘My tigers are only fed the choicest cuts — do you really think they’re going to eat stringy old Lucky?’
Theory 4: Lucan didn’t commit the murder – and was helped to flee by his circle
Lucan’s brother, Hugh Bingham defended the peer’s innocence until he died in South Africa.
He always claimed he in fact went into hiding after Rivett’s death, which he was innocent. He said: ‘I have always believed he didn’t commit murder/ He had no choice but to flee in the face of cruel allegations. The police inquiry was compromised from the start. There is significant evidence of the existence of an unknown man at the scene – is he known to police?’