The 40-year mystery of what happened to Lord Lucan has finally been solved – after his mugshot appeared as a serving parish councillor in a sleepy Sussex village.
The whereabouts of the elusive Lord Lucan – a mystery which has captivated the world for decades – has supposedly come to an end when he was ‘snapped’ in a parish magazine.
His mugshot was used in the Bersted Parish Council magazine in West Sussex when they mistakenly listed him as its newest member.
John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, commonly known as Lord Lucan, vanished in 1974 after being suspected of murdering his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett.
He has never been seen since despite hundreds of unsubstantiated sightings.
However, the famous black and white photograph of the moustachioed peer has now appeared in a parish magazine announcing three newly elected Bersted parish councillors.
The latest edition of Bersted in Focus, states: “We’re pleased to introduce our three new councillors who gallantly responded to the appeal for volunteers.
“Paul Ralph is a retired lawyer, Trevor Marshall is a former soldier, caterer and IT project manager and Keir Greenway works as a finance assistant.”
The infamous Lord Lucan photo is underneath, captioned Paul, alongside two far newer colour portrait photos captioned Keir and Trevor.
Retired lawyer, Cllr Paul Ralph, maintains he was not behind the prank, and believes the picture of the notorious aristocrat was only used because he delayed sending in a snap of himself to the parish magazine.
The 77-year-old said: “It’s somebody’s idea of a joke. I laughed like a drain when I saw it.
“My daughter told me about it, when I realised it had more implications I took it more seriously.
“I just didn’t send in a picture of myself in time and somebody has decided to use that picture as a joke.
“I have a sense of humour and laughed at it, but I wish they hadn’t used someone as notorious.
“If it had remained internal we could of all had a laugh at it, but it has gone out on Facebook and now the whole world has seen it.
“It’s a joke which has just gone a bit too far.
“I wouldn’t want anything to distract from the serious work the parish council, and other councils up and down the country, do every day.”
The ‘amazing revelation’ was spotted by a local cartoonist, Mike Jupp, who posted a picture of the magazine on Facebook: “LORD LUCAN IS ALIVE…AND WORKING IN NORTH BERSTED.”
Mike wrote: “Sensationally!.. Page 35 reveals that John Bingham, aka the 7th Earl of Lucan, wanted for murder and missing since 1974, is now a newly elected Bersted Parish Councillor.
“Lord Lucan is described as ‘a retired lawyer’ using the alias, ‘Paul Ralph’.”
Mike, rather tongue-in-cheek, asked if the appearance is a ‘cock-up or the truth’.
The real Lord Lucan was last spotted at a friend’s house in Uckfield, but as he has not been seen since, a death certificate was issued in 2016.
It is understood that, rather than ending one of the most scandalous mysteries of the last 50 years, the wrong picture was simply attached.
Both Bersted Parish Council and Bersted in Focus have been approached for comment.