LONDON—Bringing an end to years of controversy and legal challenges, Scotland Yard officials announced Tuesday that they had freed 163-year-old British man James Babington Gaskell after DNA evidence found him innocent of murder charges related to notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. “It’s certainly a gross miscarriage of justice that Mr. Gaskell was imprisoned for well over a century, but thanks to the modern science of DNA testing, we can now safely confirm that he was not responsible for the gruesome Whitechapel murders, as we once believed,” said Police Commissioner Stephen House, describing the emotional scene outside Brixton Prison as a tearful Gaskell reunited with his visibly relieved 108-year-old son Robert, 153-year-old wife Gladdy, and 193-year-old mother Henrietta. “Of course, it’s been difficult for him to adjust to society since electricity and automobiles became widespread. But through these 14 decades of campaigning on his own behalf and studying to be a barrister, he never stopped believing in his innocence. We wish him the best in his new life.” At press time, a spokesperson for Gaskell confirmed that he was resting at home and planned to return to his position as a bootblack in the East End as soon as possible.
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