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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 12:25 GMT
Man who assumed baby's ID jailed
The man who calls himself Christopher Edward Buckingham (issued by Kent Police)
Christopher Edward Buckingham refuses to reveal his true identity
A man who has used the name of a dead baby for the past 23 years, but who refuses to reveal his true identity, has been jailed for 21 months.

Christopher Edward Buckingham stole his name in 1983 from the birth certificate of a baby who died 20 years earlier.

He was sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court, in Kent, after admitting that he had obtained a passport by deception.

During police interviews he said he was Lord Buckingham and had inherited the title on his father's death in 1982.

The court heard that the real Christopher Buckingham was born in 1962 in Lambeth, south London, but had died in an incident in Selsey, West Sussex, the following year.

'Living a lie'

Buckingham was arrested in Dover in January after arriving at the port by ferry.

A letterhead bearing the Buckingham coat of arms was found in his possession.

However, the College of Arms said no-one was currently registered to use the coat of arms, which were last held in the early 1700s.

Further checks revealed he had assumed the name using the same method as the professional killer in the novel The Day Of The Jackal.

Speaking after Buckingham was sentenced on Tuesday, Det Con Dave Sprigg, the officer in charge of the case, said he doubted he would ever reveal his true identity.

Buckingham coat of arms
The coat of arms said to belong to the Buckingham family
"He's obviously got something to hide. He's lived a lie for 23 years and he's still living it.

"He knows that unless we find something on him, he's just going to keep saying I'm Christopher Edward Buckingham."

The court heard he was first spotted by UK immigration officials in Calais in January, when they realised his passport had been obtained by deception.

They allowed him to board a ferry to the Kent port, where he was arrested on arrival.

During their investigation, police officers discovered he was an information technology security consultant who had been living in Switzerland.

Det Con Sprigg said: "This man has gone to jail today flatly refusing to reveal his identity to us and I believe he probably has a serious reason for not telling us who he really is.

"If anyone recognises him from the photographs, we would very much like to hear from them."

Sentencing Buckingham, Judge Adele Williams, criticised him for his "lack of remorse" and "active obstruction" of the authorities.


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