Prince Philip’s former aide ‘took lonely 11-year-old girl for rides around Buckingham Palace grounds and sexually assaulted her in his marital bed’

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A royal aide took advantage of his position to abuse a young girl, taking her around the grounds of Buckingham Palace before he assaulted her in his marital bed, a court heard today.

Benjamin Herman is accused of sex offences against the 11-year-old child while he was serving as an equerry to Prince Philip in the 1970s.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard that he repeatedly assaulted the girl, but she did not go to the police until the Jimmy Savile scandal which lifted the lid on historic child sex abuse.

Herman, 80, was a major in the Royal Marines who was seconded to look after the Duke of Edinburgh’s personal affairs for three years between 1971 and 1974.

He had an office in Buckingham Palace, and lived in a house in south-west London provided for him by the military.

The court heard that during this period he abused the young girl, who lived near him, kissing and touching her under her clothing while encouraging her to touch him sexually.