Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Child abuse royal butler jailed

Paul Kidd

A former royal butler to the Queen and Queen Mother has been jailed for child abuse offences.

Paul Kidd, 55, of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to charges including indecent assault and sexual activity with a child.

He was given an indeterminate prison term for the public's protection and ordered to serve at least six years.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard Kidd even took one of his victims to tea with the Queen Mother.

Kidd, of Castlehall View, worked as a butler from 1977 to 1979 and was senior footman to the Queen Mother from 1979 to 1984.

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 faced nearly 30 charges relating to sexual abuse against three children, who were under 16 when the offences took place.

A victim of Paul Kidd speaks out. Clip courtesy of ITN

The charges included nine offences of indecent assault on a boy under 16, three counts of sexual activity with a boy under 16 and three counts of sexual activity with a boy under 16.

Kidd also admitted 11 counts of making indecent photographs of a child and two charges of possessing indecent photographs of children.

Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told Kidd: "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."

The court heard Kidd started grooming one of the boys when the victim was 12 after he had met him as a patient on a hospital ward where Kidd worked as a trainee nurse.

Another victim was 14 years old when he first spoke to Kidd on the CB radio airwave, the court heard.

The levels of abuse Kidd and Hobday subjected their victims to is nothing short of monstrous
Det Con James Teggart

Kidd was caught after one of his three abuse victims read a newspaper interview which he gave on the 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Evidence of further abuse was uncovered during a search of Kidd's home.

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.

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

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.

David Hobday
Kidd introduced friend Hobday to one of his victims

Summing up his sentence, Judge Khokhar said to Kidd: "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 untoward was taking place."

He said he agreed with a pre-sentence report which found Kidd was "dangerous" because of his continued protestations he had done no damage to his three victims.

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

Speaking outside court, Det Con James Teggart of Greater Manchester Police's Child Protection Unit 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."

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