Prince Philip ex-aide on sex charges
Benjamin Herman accused of indecent assault of a girl aged 12 when he was Philip’s personal assistant in 1970s
- theguardian.com, Thursday 31 July 2014 02.43 BST
The former personal assistant of Prince Philip has been charged with sexually abusing a girl while he was working for the royal family in the 1970s, prosecutors have said.
Benjamin Herman, now 79, was the personal assistant or “equerry” to the 93-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth from 1971 to 1974.
A spokesman for the UK Crown Prosecution Service said Herman would appear in court on Monday.
“He is charged with three counts of indecent assault between 1972 and 1974 on a girl aged around 12,” the spokesman said.
Herman’s role was to attend to Philip’s engagements and personal matters, and he later became the head of the household of Philip’s daughter Princess Anne.
The Daily Mirror reported that police had examined Philip’s official diaries from the time and taken statements from former palace staff.
A police spokesman would not comment on whether former palace staff had been interviewed and a spokesman for Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
He said: “Officers from Wandsworth CID investigating an allegation of historical sexual assault which occurred between 1972 and 1974 at a location in Putney arrested a 79-year-old man.
“He was subsequently bailed to a date in mid-June pending further investigation.”
Britain has been rocked by a series of scandals involving historic child abuse by prominent figures.
The Mirror reported that the alleged victim had come forward following the 2012 revelation that the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was a prolific sexual predator, which sparked a wave of investigations.
Earlier this month the prime minister, David Cameron, vowed to leave “no stone unturned” in investigating accusations, including claims of a paedophile ring involving senior politicians in the 1970s and 1980s.
Agence France-Presse and the Press Association contributed to this report
Prince Philip’s former aide in court accused of sexually abusing young girl in 1970s when while he worked at Buckingham Palace
- Benjamin Herman, 79, worked for Prince Philip and Princess Anne in 1970s
- He is accused of sexually assaulting a girl while working for the Royal family
- Charged with indecent assault and attempted assault between 1972 and 1974
- Herman, of Hampshire, has appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court today
The Duke of Edinburgh’s former aide has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing a young girl in the early 1970s while he worked at Buckingham Palace.
Benjamin Herman, 79, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court today charged with three counts of indecent assault on a girl aged under 14 and one of attempted indecent assault on a girl aged under 16.
They are alleged to have been carried out on a girl aged 12 in 1972 at a house in London used by military personnel where Herman was living at the time, the court heard.
Herman was a serving major in the Royal Marines at the time of the alleged offences.
He was on secondment as equerry – a personal assistant – to Philip, prosecutor Frances Lockhart told the court.
Herman, of Hook, Hampshire, was tanned and smartly dressed in a navy suit and tie as he appeared in the dock.
Speaking only to confirm his details, he was later released on conditional bail to appear at Kingston Court on August 18.
Herman, a grandfather, appeared in a pressed dark blue suit with a white pocket square, white shirt and blue tie with combed white hair and a tanned face.
He stood up in the dock at Wimbledon Crown Court to confirm his name to District Judge, James Henderson, speaking up to say ‘thank you, Sir’ when the judge released him on bail at the end of today’s 15 minute hearing. He is next due to appear at Kingston Crown Court on August 18th.
Frances Lockhart, prosecuting, told the court: ‘These are historical allegations of sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl around 40 years ago.
‘It happened over 40 years ago at the defendants’s house which was a military property, or residential property for military personnel and their families in south west London.
‘The complainant lived in one of these properties at the time. Herman was a serving member of the Royal Marines and had a post as Equerry to Prince Philip.
‘These allegations are over four separate incidents of sexual assault over a year period.
‘The crown are saying that this should be sent to crown court because of the serious nature of the offences.
‘The complainant was 12 years old at the time, the defendant was 38-years-old and was a person in a position of responsibility.
‘There were four alleged incidents over a period of time and there were elements of grooming.
‘There was touching involved under clothing and there was an attempt to make her touch his penis.
‘There was also a kissing incident when she was once naked under a bath robe.’
The offences are alleged to have been carried out on a girl aged 12 in 1972 at a house in London used by military personnel where Herman was living at the time, the court heard
Benjamin Herman, 79, was seconded from the Royal Marines as an aide to Prince Philip and Princess Anne in the early 70s (pictured above). He is accused of sexually assaulting a girl aged about 12 during that time period
Once sent from the 40 Commando Royal Marines, where he served as a Lieutenant-Colonel, Herman served as the Equerry-in-waiting to the Duke of Edinburgh before becoming Princess Anne’s private secretary for two years in the early 1970s.
Scotland Yard confirmed last week that Herman had been arrested on February 28th this year when CID in Wandsworth, south west London, were investigating allegations of sexual assault.
Herman has been charged with three counts of indecent assault and one of attempted assault on the girl between 1972 and 1974. At the time of the alleged offences, he worked at Buckingham Palace (above)
Police also said the alleged victim, who is now in her 50s, came forward in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
The ex-aide, who was made a Military Assistant and Aide-de-Camp to the Commandant General in the Marines, lived at Windsor in Berkshire during the period of the alleged offences and was also posted at Wellington Barracks near Buckingham Palace.
Prince Philip’s aide cleared of sex abuse: Jury take just 40 minutes to acquit former assistant of grooming girl during the 1970s
- Benjamin Herman, 80, accused of grooming schoolgirl while he worked at Buckingham Palace in the 1970s while an equerry to Prince Philip
- Prosecution told court he had ‘taken advantage’ of the girl, who was lonely
- Mr Herman was cleared of three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 13 and one count of indecency towards a child
A jury took just 40 minutes to clear Benjamin Herman, 80, (pictured leaving court) who was accused of grooming the schoolgirl in the 1970s
A former aide to the Duke of Edinburgh has been cleared of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.
A jury took just 40 minutes to clear Benjamin Herman, 80, who was accused of grooming the schoolgirl while he worked at Buckingham Palace in the 1970s.
Mr Herman was a major in the Royal Marines at the time but was on secondment as an equerry, or personal assistant, to Prince Philip.
The prosecution told Blackfriars Crown Court he had ‘taken advantage’ of the girl, who was lonely and craving adult attention.
The woman, now 54, said he once drove her to Buckingham Palace.
Edmund Gritt, prosecuting, said that the grandfather had ‘taken advantage’ of the young girl, who was lonely and bullied and craving adult attention.
He kissed her ‘passionately’, groped her and made her attempted to make her carry out sexual acts on him when she was between the ages of 11 and 14, he told the court.
‘Between 1971 and 1974, he held the post of equerry to the Queen’s husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,’ Mr Gritt told the court during the trial.
‘He managed the Duke of Edinburgh’s official diary and accompanying him on official business. His office was in Buckingham Palace.
The woman, now 54, came forward in the wake of a 2012 Savile documentary exposing the former presenter as one of Britain’s most prolific paedophiles.
The prosecution denied that she had ‘latched on’ to the Savile story and said she could describe his house and family had told friends and colleagues about the abuse before the broadcast.
Asked why the Savile revelations had prompted her to go to police, she said: ‘I was very upset. I felt I couldn’t suppress it any longer.’
The prosecution told Blackfriars Crown Court (pictured) he had ‘taken advantage’ of the girl, who was lonely
Asked why she hadn’t gone to the police earlier, she said: ‘I made up my mind that I would never speak about it. I felt ashamed, I felt guilty, I felt dirty. I’ll take my dirty little secret to my grave, I thought.’
The woman said he told her about his job and said that he often looked after Prince Edward and Prince Andrew and played football with them.
Herman ‘emphatically denied’ the allegations.
He claims that his work as equerry kept him out of the house all day, that it was not possible to drive to Buckingham Palace forecourt and that he had never even met the alleged victim.
His barrister, Nerida Harford-Bell, confirmed that he had been found not guilty after just 40 minutes of jury deliberation.
Yesterday he was cleared of three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 13 and one count of indecency towards a child between 1972 and 1974.
Mr Herman was cleared of three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 13 and one count of indecency
Learn more about Freemason paedophile rings https://jewishpaedophilia.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/international-freemason-paedophile-rings-america-britain-france-holland-jersey/
Learn more about the paedophile ring thats been operating inside the British and American intelligence agencies https://jewishpaedophilia.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/opilluminatuspiedpiper-northamptonshire-police-helping-cover-up-unitarian-paedosadist-with-satanic-royal-connections-mp-cyril-smith-scandal-because-of-his-royal-connections-force-said-secur/