Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 15:39 UK

Officers 'sat on Queen's throne'

Laura and Paul Page
Paul and Laura Page deny all the charges against them

Royal protection officers traded in hardcore pornography and sat on the Queen's throne in comical poses, it was alleged in court.

Southwark Crown Court heard they also allegedly arranged cover for each other to sleep while on duty.

The allegations were made by John Cooper, defence counsel for Paul Page, who is accused of conning colleagues and friends to fund a life of luxury.

Mr Page and his wife Laura, 42, from Essex, deny all the charges.

The claims were made during a lengthy cross-examination on Tuesday of Mr Page's former colleague in royal protection, Sgt Adam McGregor, who left service at Buckingham Palace in 2005.

He has accused the former royal protection officer of "conning" him out of thousands of pounds.

'Comical poses'

In exchanges with Sgt McGregor, Mr Cooper said he "suggested" there had been a procedure among armed officers at Buckingham Palace whereby one officer on duty might sleep while the others kept watch in case their superior caught them out.

Mr McGregor replied: "It is not something I am aware of."

Mr Cooper continued to ask Mr McGregor if he had been aware of officers who he had worked with having been involved in "any other illicit dealings", including the selling of steroids and hardcore pornography, which he denied.

In a later exchange, Mr Cooper asked Mr McGregor: "Would you consider it serious if a police officer serving in royalty protection got access to the thrones of the Queen and Prince Philip, sat on them with their feet up, put their thumbs up in a comical pose and had their photographs taken?"

Mr McGregor replied: "It would be unacceptable, yes, certainly."

Mr Cooper rejoined: "That is just what you have done, isn't it?"

Mr McGregor replied: "No, I do not recall doing anything like that."

Pressed to explain his answer Mr McGregor replied: "I may have sat on one of the thrones, but I do not recall doing any comical poses."

In earlier evidence to the court Mr McGregor claimed he had been "totally sucked in" by Mr Page.

He further told the court he had acted "very naively and very stupidly" in some of his dealings with his former colleague.

'Hid dishonesty'

The court has heard the officers protecting the royals lost more than £250,000 to a spread betting venture set up by Mr Page called "The Currency Club," which he allegedly set up to clear spiralling debts.

The court has been told he hid his dishonesty behind a "veneer of credibility" fuelled by a fleet of expensive cars and claims he was a highly "adept" property developer and market speculator.

The prosecution has claimed much of it was laundered by Mr Page's wife before being gambled away.

The alleged fraud involved using the money for investing in property that promised "fantastic" but unrealistically high rates of interest.

Mr Page, a father-of-five, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraudulent trading, intimidation, threatening to take revenge and making a threat to kill.

Mrs Page denies "being concerned in an arrangement facilitating dealings with criminal property", intimidation and making a threat to kill.

The trial continues.

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