By Calvin Palmer
A former royal butler to the Queen is facing jail after admitting a string of child sex abuse offences.
Paul Kidd, 55, from Stalybridge, who served the Queen and the Queen Mother, pleaded guilty to 28 offences when he appeared at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.
Kidd was butler to the Queen from 1977 to 1979 and became a senior footman to the Queen Mother, at Clarence House, from 1979 to 1984 and some of the sex attacks on boys as young as 12 and 13 dated back to that time.
After leaving royal service, Kidd became an after dinner speaker, charging ₤2000 – ₤4,000 for amusing anecdotes about his life in the Royal household.
His secret and sordid life only came to light on the tenth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana last year, when he gave a newspaper interview. A victim, now in his 40s, saw the article and complained to police that he had been abused between the ages of 13 and 16 during the early 1980s.
When police raided Kidd’s flat, they found indecent videos locked in a safe and 18,000 computer files containing images of young boys in various levels of indecency.
Some of those images featured sexual abuse of a second victim who was traced by detectives. Now aged 18, this victim told police he had been abused not only by Kidd but a second man, David Hobday, when he was aged 14.
And when Kidd was charged, a third victim came forward. He told police he had met Kidd through a shared interest in CB radio and had been abused in the late 1970s. He told investigators he was taken, as a teenager, to the Queen Mother’s Christmas party and introduced to her as a friend over tea.
Also appearing in court alongside Kidd was co-accused, David Hobday, 56, from Dukinfield, who admitted six counts of sexual activity with a child and a further count of possessing child pornography.
Judge Mushtaq Khokhar told the pair: “You have both pleaded guilty to some serious offences. So you are under no doubt whatsoever, the likely sentence in your case is going to be custody.”
Kidd admitted counts of indecent assault, sexual activity with a child, inciting sexual activity with a child, downloading indecent images of children and possessing child pornography.
He pleaded not guilty to two other charges of downloading and possessing child pornography, which were ordered to stay on the file.
Judge Khokhar ordered pre-sentence reports and both men were remanded in custody until November 20 when sentence will be passed.
Kidd, who was originally charged with several counts of rape, and Hobday changed their pleas ahead of a scheduled four-week trial.
[Based on reports in The Times, The Independent and Manchester Evening News.]