Lord Lucan is now presumed to be dead, a High Court judge has ruled.
42 years after the peer vanished a death certificate has finally been issues. He was declared dead in 1999, despite hundreds of unverified sightings, but the new ruling gives his son the right to inherit the family title.
Lord Lucan, disappeared in 1974, would be 81 if he were still alive.
His son, Lord Bingham, said: "I am very happy with the judgment of the court in this matter. It has been a very long time coming."
Lucan disappeared after Sandra Rivett was found dead at 46 Lower Belgrave St, Belgravia.
He drove to a friend's house in East Sussex in a borrowed car, which was later found abandoned in Newhaven with bloodstains inside.
The mystery of his whereabouts excited decades of speculation.
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