‘I’d swap my fortune to have dad back’: How son of ‘Orphan of Lockerbie’ – who inherited £18m compensation – lives as recluse in farmhouse just a few miles from terror attack that obliterated his entire family
- Luke Nesfield, 21, is the last surviving member of an entire family wiped out by the 1988 Lockerbie bombing
- His father Steven Flannigan lost both of his parents and sister – Luke’s grandparents and aunt – when the Pan Am 103 jet landed on their home
- Steven and his elder brother David survived but both brothers died a few years later and were still haunted by Britain’s worst terror attack
- Despite being born nine years after the atrocity, Luke’s whole life has been deeply affected by the disaster
- He is the is the sole beneficiary of a compensation trust fund – said to be worth up to £18 million – which was passed to him this autumn when he came of age
- He lives as a recluse in a farmhouse a few miles from Sherwood Crescent in Lockerbie where his grandparents Tom and Kathleen Flannigan and his aunt Joanne, then 10, were obliterated
- His maternal grandmother told MailOnline Luke is still suffering from the tragedy and often speaks of his father
Luke Nesfield, 21, is the last surviving member of an entire family wiped out by the 1988 Lockerbie bombing
The last surviving member of a family wiped out in the Lockerbie bombing who has just inherited a multi-million pound fortune would swap all the money to have his father back, his grandmother has revealed.
Luke Nesfield, 21, is the sole beneficiary of a compensation trust fund – said to be worth up to £18 million – which was passed on to him this autumn when he came of age.
Despite being born nine years after the atrocity, his whole life has been affected by the disaster and he lives a reclusive existence on a remote sheep farm on the outskirts of Lockerbie.
Luke’s father Steven Flannigan became known as the ‘orphan of Lockerbie’ when his family home was obliterated by the wreckage of the aircraft, killing his parents and sister. In turn, Steven and his brother David went on to die prematurely in tragic circumstances.
Valerie Stevenson, Luke’s maternal grandmother, said the young farmer is still deeply affected by the tragedy and often spoke about his father.
‘The truth is he doesn’t really care about the money and he’d give his eye teeth to have his dad back,’ the 74-year-old told MailOnline.
‘He was so close to his dad, even though he was so young when he lost him.
‘Luke has inherited many of his dad’s good qualities. They have the same dry sense of humour. Luke’s dad is not forgotten. We talk about him all the time.’
‘But the disaster still affects our whole family, 30 years on.
Mrs Stevenson, who lives on the farm next to Luke, insists he will not be turned by his huge inheritance, which also includes his father’s watch, necklace and rings.
Luke is the son of Steven Flannigan who became known as the ‘orphan of Lockerbie’ when his parents and sister were obliterated when the Pan Am jet landed on their home in Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie. Steven was haunted by the tragedy and died when he was hit by a train in 2000 when his son Luke was three. Picture: Steven holding Luke as a baby
Steven’s parents Tom and Kathleen Flannigan and their daughter Joanne all died in Britain’s worst terror attack four days before Christmas on 21 December 1988 when Pan Am flight 103 came crashing down on their Lockerbie home. Steven, then 14, survived along with his elder brother David, then 19, as they were both out of the house at the time
Steven and his girlfriend Lisa Gregory (pictured left) had Luke together nine years after Lockerbie (pictured right is Luke at 18 months old). Luke’s whole life has been affected by the disaster and he lives a reclusive existence on a remote sheep farm on the outskirts of Lockerbie
Sherwood Crescent in Lockerbie, pictured left, following the disaster and right, earlier this week. The force of the impact of the Boeing 747 left a 30 foot crater in Sherwood Crescent. Valerie Stevenson, Luke’s maternal grandmother, said the young farmer is still deeply affected by the tragedy and often spoke about his father
The jet’s wings landed on Sherwood Crescent. Mr and Mrs Flannigan’s bodies were never found after the atrocity. Now Mrs Stevenson, who lives on the farm next to Luke, insists he will not be turned by his huge inheritance, which also includes his father’s watch, necklace and rings. She added that he would give all the money back just to have his father back
Lockerbie then and now: Amazing photographs show how tiny…
Mangled remains of Lockerbie plane lie forgotten in a…
Lockerbie baby mystery is solved after 30 years: Policeman…
Share this article
‘He won’t be flying any helicopters or going down the road in a Rolls Royce,’ she said.
‘I don’t know the exact figure he got. He’s not the sort to make a song and dance about it. Most people round here have no idea of his past or the money.’
Luke’s grandparents Tom and Kathleen Flannigan died on 21 December 1988 when Pan Am flight 103 came crashing down on their Lockerbie home.
Their 10-year-old daughter, Joanne, was also killed. But their eldest son David, then aged 19, and second son Steven, then 14, survived, as they were out of the house at the time.
The brothers were awarded around £2.1million in compensation from Pan Am. This was followed by a £6.25 million payment from the Libyan government in 2003.
David, who referred to the cash as ‘dirty money’, used it to fund a hedonistic lifestyle. He died of heart failure in Thailand in 1993 and at his funeral, hard rock music was played.
The money passed to his brother, Steven, dubbed the ‘orphan of Lockerbie’, who had wisely invested his share.
But Steven also tragically died in 2000 when he was hit by a train after drinking 14 pints of lager and ‘falling asleep’ on the track when Luke was just three years old.
He had split up with Luke’s mother Lisa Nesfield when the boy was a baby but they remained close and she spoke movingly about the impact of Lockerbie on the Flannigan family after Steven died.
Steven (pictured) lost both parents in the aircrash and it affected him for the rest of his life. He invested the money he received from Pan Am and the Libyan government. He tragically died in 2000 when he was hit by a train after drinking 14 pints of lager and ‘falling asleep’ on the track when his son Luke was just three years old
Steven (pictured at his parents’ funeral left) and his older brother David (right) were paid £6.25m compensation by the Libyan government and £2.1m by Pan Am. David called the cash as ‘dirty money’ and used it to fund a hedonistic lifestyle. David was living in Blackpool at the time of the bombing having fallen out with his parents. He never got over the fact that he never made it up with them and he died of heart failure in Thailand in 1993
Steven and David’s parents – Luke’s grandparents – Kathleen and Thomas were aged 41 and 44 when they died in the Lockerbie disaster. Their daughter – Luke’s aunt – Joanne was ten. Luke’s father Steven was dubbed the ‘orphan of Lockerbie’
The Flannigan family grave in Lockerbie where the victims of the aircrash were buried. Steven remained closed with Lisa after they split and she spoke movingly about the impact of Lockerbie on the Flannigan family after Steven later died
David had left home three years before the disaster and the brothers were reunited in their grief at the funeral. The terror attack haunted them for the rest of their lives with Lisa saying: ‘First Kath, Tom and Joanne, then David, and finally it caught up with Steven. Lockerbie has claimed its last victim’
‘First Kath, Tom and Joanne, then David, and finally it caught up with Steven. Lockerbie has claimed its last victim,’ she said.
Steven’s fortune was left in trust to Luke, who was allowed to access the cash in full when he was 21 – which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the disaster this year.
Experts have estimated that the sum would rise to about £18million today on account of interest and investment dividends.
‘Luke doesn’t want to talk about it. He just wants to get on with his life,’ said Lisa, now 50, who lives with him. ‘He doesn’t like being the centre of attention and he just wants to keep his head down.’
This week, Luke declined to be interviewed and the only sign of his newfound wealth was some modest renovations taking place at his isolated farmhouse and several vehicles in the drive.
Mrs Stevenson said her unassuming grandson was a credit to his father.
‘Luke is a really nice, funny, down-to-earth boy. He keeps sheep on his farm and comes down to my farm every day to help with the horses and dogs.
The wings clipped the edge of the A74, pictured, before gouging a crater in the ground on Sherwood Crescent. Pictured right is what Sherwood Crescent looks like now. Steven’s fortune was left in trust to Luke, who was allowed to access the cash in full when he was 21 – which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the disaster this year
The explosion left a trail of debris more than 70 miles long after the aircraft broke up in mid air following the explosion. Today, a small memorial (right) marks the location of one of the impact points to commemorate those who died. Lisa now lives with her son and said that he isn’t interested in the inheritance and doesn’t want to talk about it
One of the engines from the Pan Am 747 Flight 103 which crashed in Lockerbie. Luke doesn’t want to talk about his wealth and declined to be interviewed this week. The only sign of his newfound wealth was some modest renovations taking place at his isolated farmhouse and several vehicles in the drive
Part of the aircraft’s cockpit narrowly avoided the church and graveyard in Tundergarth Cemetery in Lockerbie, pictured. On the right, you can see what the church looks like now. Though Luke doesn’t want to discuss his fortune, experts have estimated that the sum would rise to about £18million today
A police officer watched on at plane crash wreckage lying in the street. Luke’s maternal grandmother Mrs Stevenson says that her grandson’s outlook is a credit to his father Steven. She said: ‘Luke is a very private person, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like him. Everyone just sees him as ordinary’
The explosive device was controlled by a timer which was due to detonate when the aircraft was over the ocean, but the late departure of the aircraft resulted in it crashing over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. Pictured: Sherwood Crescent after the crash and today. Luke’s father Steven avoided the crash because he happened to take his sister’s Christmas present, a new bicycle, to be checked over by a neighbour just minutes before impact
‘Luke is a very private person, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like him. Everyone just sees him as ordinary. He’s just our Luke.’
Steven was laid to rest in a pretty Lockerbie cemetery alongside his brother and sister, where fresh yellow roses had been laid this week.
Inscribed on his gravestone, which he shares with David, are the words: ‘There is no anthem for doomed youth, only loss’ and under Steven’s name, simply ‘Father of Luke’
Lisa Gregory (pictured) met Steven in 1996 and they had Luke together a year later. The couple separated the following year
The grave is close to a memorial stone for Mr and Mrs Flannigan, whose bodies were never found after the force of the impact of the Boeing 747 left a 30 foot crater in Sherwood Crescent, Lockerbie.
David was not at home when the plane came down, as he had had an argument with his parents and was staying with friends in Blackpool. A reconciliation had been scheduled for Boxing Day.
Steven avoided the crash because he happened to take his sister’s Christmas present, a new bicycle, to be checked over by a neighbour just minutes before impact.
In all, the disaster claimed 270 lives, including 11 Lockerbie residents hit by the wreckage when it fell to earth. The oldest was 82, and the youngest two months, and fragments from the airliner spread over five miles of countryside.
Steven was taken in by a foster family and planned to become a fitter for British Gas. But he was thrown out after he had an affair with his foster mother, and moved to Florida to train as a commercial airline pilot.
He later returned to Glasgow and in 1996, he fell in love with Lockerbie resident Lisa Gregory, 29, now Nesfield. They had a child – Luke – in 1997.
They did not marry but moved in together, living less than a mile from the scene of the disaster. But the relationship did not last. When Luke was five weeks old, Steven left Lockerbie, eventually settling in Heywood, Wiltshire.
Luke as an 11-year-old (left) and with his father Steven on Christmas Day in 1999. Though Luke’s parents didn’t marry, they moved in together, living less than a mile from the scene of the disaster
Before Steven met Lisa, he went through a succession of foster families. Pictured is one family he stayed with. Bob, Peggy and Claire Jardine welcomed Steve to their family. Steve planned to become a fitter for British Gas
Here is Steve with another foster family, the Harleys. They include Bill and Kate Harley and their seven-year-old son Craig. Steve was eventually thrown out from his last foster family after he had an affair with his foster mother, and moved to Florida to train as a commercial airline pilot
Steven’s coffin at his funeral. He remained on good terms with Lisa and would regularly visit son Luke. However, he died after falling asleep on train tracks after he had drunk 14 pints of lager. The orphan of Lockerbie died two days later of head injuries, surrounded by 20 friends. His son now wants to move on with his life
Steven and Lisa remained on good terms, however, and he would regularly visit little Luke. Tragedy would strike once again, however, in August 2000, when after drinking 14 pints of lager, Steven ‘fell asleep’ on train tracks.
He had a habit of falling asleep in unusual places when he had been drinking, an inquest in Bath, Somerset, was told. These included flower beds, the pub car park and a friend’s car.
At 3am, shortly after Luke’s third birthday, two drivers of a slow maintenance train saw Steven sprawled on the tracks but were unable to stop in time.
He was taken to the Royal United Hospital in Bath within 30 minutes of the collision and died two days later of head injuries, surrounded by 20 friends. He never regained consciousness.
Source: Read Full Article