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Nationally accepted protocols for death scene investigation and forensic autopsies have been widely available and freely disseminated for the better part of the last 20 years.

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A keen sports fan — a fact that the gang had quickly picked up on — he couldn’t help his imagination running riot, conjuring up images of taking a seat at the Emirates ground in North London beside a beautiful young blonde.

Eager to get to know the woman behind the emails, Peter suggested they meet up when she got back, and booked a £250-a-night room at a hotel he knew to be a favourite of the England football team.

Investigators believe the true scale of the crime is much greater, as many people — and particularly men — are embarrassed to admit they have been conned, so don’t complain. Using a photo of an attractive woman and building a false identity around her, criminal gangs target vulnerable men looking for love by responding to their online dating profiles.

As he now realises, 70-year-old Peter Lock fell hook, line and sinker. The attractive, wealthy, 32-year-old blonde with whom Peter had been swapping messages all week was just a front used by a professional foreign gang who had deliberately lured him in.

It was the third night in a row that Peter, a retired businessman and tennis coach from Kettering, Northamptonshire, had been called and ordered to hand over money. The threat was supposedly from a Malaysian customs officer in far-off Kuala Lumpur, where his girlfriend Martha was trapped due to some administrative mix-up.