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The long arm of the law

The Metropolitan Police have today dug up the remains of Richard III, a week after he was re-interred in Leicester after resting under what became a car park after 500 years, in an exercise reportedly designed to show their commitment to tackling historic child abuse. Executing a warrant under Schedule 5 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 permitting them to exhume the bones, they claim to be looking for any DNA evidence linking Richard III to the deaths of the Princes in the Tower.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: ‘The Princes were held in the Tower of London, which is now within the Metropolitan Police District. As a service, we are committed to tackling all historic allegations of child abuse, even this instance of child abduction and a possible double murder. Whilst there is obviously no possibility of charges arising from this investigation, it will serve as a signal to those who may feel reluctant about coming forward to report abuse that there is no one who is above the law and the highest in the land will be investigated’. The spokeswoman also said that the timing of the exhumation was not an accident, they did not wish to prejudice any investigation by incurring publicity before Richard III’s burial, and to maintain operational secrecy they waited until after burial, as to have examined the bones beforehand would have meant applying to the Ministry of Justice for a variation on the licence granted to allow the bones to be tested, which might have led to political interference. The spokeswoman further justified the investigation by saying that it would provide a valuable exercise in testing the boundaries of forensic techniques, and may enable more recent ‘cold cases’ to be re-opened by stretching the boundaries of forensic science.

The investigation follows a number of raids on the homes of VIPs by police investigating allegations of historic child abuse, and the news that late Sir Cyril Smith, a former Liberal Democrat heavyweight MP, was arrested at a children’s home and then promptly released following intervention from senior officers despite being found with two boys. Cynics might wonder if the raid had been timed to occur after the Dissolution of Parliament on Monday and as the General Election starts, to avoid the matter being raised in Parliament by sceptical MPs concerned about police wasting resources by stunts.

18 comments to The long arm of the law

  • the other rob

    You had me going, for a moment, until I realised that it’s already tomorrow over there!

  • Nick (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    It’s good to see British Justice finally collaring crims!
    However, I think they should investigate a more recent case- the supposed drowning of Professor Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes’s report seems incomplete- the Professor would not settle things in a wrestling match! He would have had a trap arranged for Holmes, or had one of his criminal confederates shoot him. I think Holmes lured the Professor there to kill him for the good of society, since ordinary justice couldn’t touch him!
    Here in Australia, we are looking into the possibility that Cybermen were transported backwards in time, and committed the robberies wrongly blamed on Ned Kelly, before the Doctor vanquished them.
    Any other historical crimes out there?

  • John Galt III

    Funny thing is that absolutely nothing would surprise me in Great Britain today or for that matter Obama’s USA. I mistrust our governments so that nothing is a shock anymore. I mean imagine this:

    “President Obama has signed an executive order today April 1, 2015 commanding the FBI dig up Thomas Jefferson to check for DNA samples to prove he fathered a half black child or maybe children with his slave, the fetching Sally Hemmings.

    If proven true, all descendants living of such offspring will receive $100,000 in compensation for slavery reparations as well as the forcible rape of said Miss Hemmings”.

  • I had to do the math as well — just looking at the calendar wasn’t enough.

    That’s the problem, isn’t it though? That this is all too plausible.

  • Ellen

    I wish I could laugh, without wondering if it might be true. Officialdom seems to have gone mad lately, and this could be perfectly normal displacement activity.

  • Nick (Self-Sovereignty) Gray

    Don’t forget, folks, today is April Fools’ DAY, not half-day! You can make jokes all day long!
    Ellen, the best jokes are like that, leaving you wondering if it is true. We’ve had gullible Non-Australians believing in duck-billed platypuses for years! Australia, a vivisectionist’s paradise! For our next trick, we’ll be talking about the EAGLE-billed platypus, the carnivorous cousin to the ‘normal’ duck-billed vegans! And I bet people will fall for that, as well!!!

  • David

    Oh dear. The Rotherham inaction only supports a probability that policing in the UK is a slow process and this affair of Dick the Third may just be true.

    the ‘normal’ duck-billed vegans!

    Naughty of you Nick. The duck billed variety are ravenous carnivores given to eating shrimp, crayfish, worms, bunyips and the occasional unwary trout fisherman.

  • Tedd

    Good one. For a moment I thought they had truly jumped the shark.

  • Lee Moore

    Sir Cyril Smith, a former Liberal Democrat heavyweight MP, was arrested at a children’s home and then promptly released following intervention from senior officers despite being found with two boys….

    …deep fried, in his lunch basket.

  • Roue le Jour

    I like children, but I couldn’t eat a whole one.

  • Wow, it totally had me going… :-O (BTW Thaddeus, welcome back).

  • Thaddeus, welcome back

    Thaddeus may have undergone an identity crisis, Alisa, perhaps even multiple personality disorder 😉

  • RAB

    I heard that Leicester Council had wheel-clamped him until Her Majesty coughs up the overdue parking fines.

  • mojo

    What day is it again?

    Liked that story, BTW, they found the old tyrant under a parking space with a big “R” on it.

    It was a hint, I figure.

  • Jane Simons

    This is just genius. I actually hit the last paragraph with mounting incredulity before I realised what the date was. You have lawyers writing for Samizdata? Because this was totally written by a lawyer!

  • Error 404 World Not Found

    The terrifying thing about this is it is kind of plausible these days 🙁