Police prevented priest performing last rites on murdered MP Sir David Amess

Police officers prevented a priest from performing the last rites on murdered MP Sir David Amess

A priest was reportedly prevented by police officers from giving the last rites to the murdered MP, Sir David Amess, who was a staunch Catholic. Mr Amess was stabbed to death at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, in his Essex constituency surgery last Friday, October 15. The police are now treating it as an act of terrorism, with a 25-year-old man arrested at the scene, now in police custody, suspected of the attack.

Because it was a crime scene, Father Jeffrey Woolnough, a local priest, was prohibited from entering the vicinity of the attack on the MP, as officers followed what is standard procedure at any crime scene.

Speaking to Mail Online, Father Woolnough told how he had rushed forward in an effort to carry out the sacrament on the dying 69-year-old, but, “The officers said that because it was a crime scene, and also the nature of the scene, it just wasn’t possible”.

Performing the last rites is a tradition in the Catholic faith

Sir David was a known devout Catholic, and it is a traditional and essential practice in their religion to have a priest perform the last rites – or the Commendation of the Dying as it is also called – on somebody from the Catholic faith who is about to die.

“As with any police incident, it is of the utmost importance that we preserve the integrity of a crime scene, and allow emergency services to tend to those in need. A cordon is put in place to secure and prevent contamination of the area”, commented a spokesperson for Essex Police.

Adding, “Access into a scene is at the discretion of the investigating officers. This is a fundamental part of any investigation to ensure the best possible chance of securing justice for any victim and their family”, as reported by businessinsider.com.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com