Prince Philip's former aide Benjamin Herman accused of sexually abusing child while working at Buckingham Palace

Benjamin Herman is accused of repeatedly molesting the girl while serving as the Duke of Edinburgh's equerry

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The Independent Online

A former aide to Prince Philip groomed a child by taking her to Buckingham Palace before repeatedly assaulting her, a court has heard.

Benjamin Herman, 80, is accused of abusing the girl, who was allegedly aged around 12 at the time.

He is accused of repeatedly molesting her while serving as the Duke of Edinburgh’s equerry in the early 70s.

The abuse reportedly took place at a house in south-west London which was used by military personnel, where Herman was living at the time.

He was a serving major in the Royal Marines on secondment as equerry, handling the Duke's private matters and engagements.

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The former aide to Prince Philip is accused of grooming a child by taking her to Buckingham Palace before repeatedly assaulting her

The alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the jury at London's Blackfriars Crown Court that she felt "privileged" when Herman drove her to Buckingham Palace in his VW camper van.

"There was a security person who he spoke to and allowed us in," she recalled. "We circled around the forecourt and went out again."

The alleged victim told the court of four occasions on which Herman sexually abused her in his home and in a nearby garage.

She told the court that she has since told friends what he did to her, but did not go to the police until November 2012, after the abuse carried out by Jimmy Savile was made public.

Herman denies three counts of indecent assault on a girl under the age of 13 and one count of indecency with a child between January 1972 and January 1974.

The trial continues

PA