King Arthur Pendragon loses human remains legal battle

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Media caption,

Speaking before the hearing, King Arthur Pendragon said: ''Let those we lay to rest, stay in rest."

A druid who went to the High Court to try to stop researchers examining ancient human remains found at Stonehenge has failed in his legal bid.

King Arthur Pendragon wanted the remains found in 2008 to be reburied immediately.

He was fighting a Ministry of Justice decision allowing scientists at Sheffield University to analyse the samples for five more years.

His bid was rejected at a High Court hearing in London.

Mr Justice Wyn Williams refused to give Mr Pendragon permission to launch a judicial review action, ruling that there was insufficient evidence to show that the Ministry of Justice might have acted unreasonably.

Former soldier Mr Pendragon, 57, who changed his name by deed poll, was dressed in white druid robes and represented himself at the hearing.

'Day of action'

The cremated remains of more than 40 bodies, thought to be at least 5,000 years old, were removed from a burial site at Stonehenge in 2008 and ministers gave permission to allow the bones to be examined at Sheffield University until 2015.

Mr Pendragon told the judge that the bones were remains of members of the "royal line" or "priest caste" who could have been the "founding fathers of this great nation".

He said he did not believe the bones would ever be returned to the site, and that his views were not being taken into account. His allegations were denied by the Ministry of Justice.

Talking prior to the hearing, Mr Pendragon said: "If we don't get them to, force them to, put them back, they're going to end up in Salisbury museum.

"I know that for a fact, and I'm not prepared to stand around and wait for them to come up with other excuses."

After the hearing, Mr Pendragon, who signed himself as Arthur Rex on court papers, vowed to continue his fight to have the remains reburied.

He called for a "day of action" at Stonehenge on Monday, which he said would be three years to the day since the remains were removed.

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