Lady Lucan says fugitive died shortly after killing nanny

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Allegations Howletts founder John Aspinall helped jet out the children of fugitive Lord Lucan to Africa where he was in hiding have been slammed as “rubbish” by Lucan’s wife.

A report in the BBC’s local magazine programme Inside Out last night made a string of allegations about what happened to Lord Lucan after he fled London in 1974.

Having laid in wait to kill his wife at her Belgravia home, he accidentally killed his children’s nanny.

Realising his mistake, he then attacked Lady Lucan too. But she escaped and raised the alarm.

Lucan’s car was found abandoned in Newhaven, leading to speculation he committed suicide in the English Channel.

However, a body was never recovered, leading to allegations friends had helped him flee the UK.

One popular theory, never proved, was that the professional gambler turned to pals John Aspinall and James Goldsmith - who then ran a casino in London. One rumour is that they helped jet him out of the country. One destination touted as a possible home is Africa.

Inside Out interviewed a secretary - who refused to be identified - at Aspinall’s casino who said that between 1979 and 1981 she booked flights for two of Lucan’s children to holiday in Africa. While there they would be flown to the Gabon where Lucan would be able to see them, but not approach them.

The story was apparently backed up by a former police investigator who said he believed a claim Lucan had been spotted in Africa.

But Lady Lucan, 74, who still lives in Belgravia, told the Daily Telegraph the claims were nonsense and that the children never made the journey.

She said: “It’s rubbish, I can guarantee they didn’t go to Africa. It’s ridiculous, it’s false.

“The children were wards of court, at boarding school. I was their carer, I would have known if they had gone to Africa.

“I had to get permission from the court to take them abroad or even in to the country. I never took them abroad.

“People are making a fast buck out of the name Lucan. It does not make sense. He died soon after the murder.”

She says Lucan hurled himself off a cross-Channel ferry - and straight into the propellers so no trace of him would be found.

The anonymous casino worker claimed the late wildlife park owner John Aspinall sent her a “hidden message” during one of his last ever interviews, in which he said Lucan was dead. This, she claimed, was code to say that Lucan really had died in his foreign hideaway, and that she was free to go public with what she knew. However, she took another 12 years before speaking to the BBC under cover of anonymity.

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