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Royal butler jailed over sex offences on boys

A paedophile royal butler has been jailed for a minimum of six years after he admitted committing a string of sexual offences against young boys.

Described by police as a “brilliant groomer”, Paul Kidd (55), of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, even took one of his victims for tea with the Queen Mother.

Kidd started grooming one of the boys when he was aged 12 as he met him as a patient on a hospital ward where he worked as a trainee nurse.

Another was 14 when he first spoke to Kidd on the CB radio, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

The defendant was senior footman to the Queen Mother from 1979 to 1984 and previously worked as a royal butler to the Queen from 1977.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told him: “You were someone who had influenced your victims to such an extent they were under your spell.

“They would do anything you asked them to do.

“I regard you as someone who is dangerous and presents a risk to all the young people you may come across.”

He gave Kidd an indeterminate sentence and recommended that he remain in prison for at least six years for public protection until he can be considered for parole.

The former candidate for the UK Independence Party was brought to the attention of the authorities after one of his three abuse victims read a newspaper interview with Kidd on the 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

His boasts about his royal connections, coming from a man who also had his own website, www.royalbutler.co.uk, led the complainant to contact police.

The victim, now aged in his 40s, reported he had been indecently assaulted by Kidd at the butler’s home in the early 1980s when he was as young as 13.

An investigation was launched and evidence of further abuse was uncovered during a search of his home in Castlehall View.

Among items found on his computer were 18,019 images of unknown children and a video recording of him abusing another youngster as recently as 2006.

Many of the images recovered were encrypted in computer files with the password "Pickles" - thought to be a reference to a royal corgi.

His third victim, who was treated to the royal tea party, came forward after reading publicity on the case when Kidd was charged by police.

Kidd pleaded guilty to nine counts of indecent assault, six counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted 11 counts of making indecent images of a child and two counts of possessing indecent images of children.

The offences were committed between 1974 and 1977, 1981 and 1983 - when he was in the employ of the Queen Mother - and 2005 to 2008.

Kidd introduced his most recent victim to a friend, David Hobday, who also abused the youngster.

Hobday, 57, of St John Street, Dukinfield, was jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to six counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of possessing an indecent image of a child, namely a video recording.

Outside court, Detective Constable James Teggart from the Child Protection Unit based at Ashton, said: "The levels of abuse Kidd and Hobday subjected their victims to is nothing short of monstrous.

"The pair are sexual predators who have manipulated their victims and subjected them to the most horrific abuse time and again.

"The victims have had their childhoods taken away from them and will have to deal with what they’ve been put through for the rest of their lives.

"I would like to praise the courage of those who came forward and helped bring this evil pair to justice.

"Today’s result highlights the importance of coming forward to police to report incidents of sexual abuse, no matter how long ago they may have taken place. It takes courage to revisit incidents of this nature but victims can be reassured that GMP takes all reports very seriously and any incident of historic abuse will be fully investigated in a sensitive manner by specially trained police officers.

Kidd met his first victim in the mid-1970s at Tameside General Hospital when the youth was being treated for a grumbling appendix.

The boy wrote a thank-you letter to Kidd on his release which the defendant replied to.

The court heard the pair met up and Kidd took the youth on trips out to the cinema and the Lake District.

It was not long before Kidd gained his trust and persuaded the youngster to sleep at his house, where he assaulted him.

Kidd even took him to meet the Queen Mother at a Christmas party at Clarence House where he introduced him as a "friend".

The victim said he eventually went on to date a girl from his church at the age of 16.

This provoked Kidd to warn him that he was involved in witchcraft and was a high priest in a coven.

Ms Nicola Gatto, prosecuting, said: "He feared what he could do to him with magic."

The next victim was lured by Kidd’s enthusiasm for CB radio - call sign "Alexis" - as they initially chatted over the airwaves.

Again, Kidd was soon abusing the youngster at his then home in 1981 in Caroline Street, Ashton-under-Lyne.

He impressed the then 14-year-old with anecdotes about his career in the royal service.

The youngster recalled: "I remember one story he told about dredging a lake at Balmoral with another servant.

"Two ladies were walking past and he went to jump out at them and scare them. When he did, one of the women turned round and told him to go inside because he would catch his death out here. It was the Queen and the Queen Mother.

"He also told me that the Queen used to like scrambled egg on toast."

Ms Gatto said his most recent victim was the son of a family acquaintance who he enticed with the promise of getting autographs of Manchester United players.

Kidd went on to have sex with the youth who today said he and his family had felt betrayed by the defendant.

Saul Brody, representing Kidd, said: "It will be a devastating and somewhat excruciating experience for him because of the pariah status he will acquire while he serves a period in incarceration.

"There has been no issue to the quality of service he provided to members of the royal household while in their employ.

"He is no longer an employee of the royals. His life is now ruined."

Kidd had no previous convictions.

Summing up his sentence, Judge Khokhar said: "Each case involved grooming followed up by sexual abuse.

"In each case you gained the trust of the parents of the young victims so they could spend more time with you without expecting anything untowards was taking place."

He said he agreed with the author of Kidd’s pre-sentence report that he was "dangerous" because of his continued protestations he had done no damage to the three men and had always acted for their benefit.

"There is a significant risk of you posing serious harm by the committing of sexual offences of this kind," Judge Khokhar added.

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