Man held over royal stalking

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The Independent Online
After a massive security operation, a man was arrested yesterday by detectives 25 minutes before the Princess Royal was due to arrive at a church on a visit to Liverpool.

The Princess, who is patron of the National Association of Victim Support Schemes, was due at St Nicholas's parish church in Liverpool at 5pm to meet members of a victim support scheme. Her arrival passed without incident but police revealed later that Bernard Quinn, 53, of Weston-super-Mare, Avon, had been arrested near the church just minutes before she turned up.

Mr Quinn was charged with behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace and is due to appear before Liverpool City magistrates' court today. He was being held in custody at the city's main Bridewell police station overnight.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said last night that the arrest was a matter for the police. She had no further comment to make.

Police said later that officers spoke to the man when he arrived in Tithebarn Street near St Nicholas's church.

Special Branch officers had been on maximum alert for any possible incident in the city following an occasion during the last high-profile royal visit to Liverpool - by the Princess of Wales to Toxteth - when a man, who was later revealed to have a history of mental problems, rode up to the Princess of Wales on a bicycle and kissed her.

Following her meeting with the Merseyside Federation of Victim Support Schemes at St Nicholas yesterday, the Princess Royal was due at Liverpool town hall in her role as president of the British Olympic Association to attend a screening of Chariots of Fire, the Oscar-winning David Puttnam movie, in aid of the British Olympic Appeal.