The crowning cruelty in the appalling murder of Sir David Amess was that this devoutly practising Catholic was denied the Last Sacraments. The revelation that Essex Police refused the local parish priest access to Sir David to administer the last rites has provoked outrage and concern among Catholics.

There seems to be no discrepancy between the priest’s account of what happened and the police version. Father Jeffrey Woolnough described how he arrived at Belfairs Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea in the aftermath of the MP’s stabbing: “When I got there, I showed [my] card to the police and I asked if there was any chance that I can get in, and in fairness, the policeman there radioed through and said: ‘I’m afraid not, this is a crime scene’.”