The Queen’s cousin Lord Mountbatten is accused of sexually abusing a child at notorious Belfast boys home in 1970s in court case being brought 43 years after he was assassinated by the IRA
- Arthur Smyth has accused Lord Mountbatten of molesting him twice in 1977
- Mr Smyth, who waived his right to anonymity, said it happened at Kincora in NI
- Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s cousin, was murdered two years later by the IRA
- The High Court in Belfast will hear allegations he abused an 11-year-old boy
Lord Mountbatten has been accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at a children’s home – in a case being brought 43 years after his death.
Arthur Smyth, who has waived his right to anonymity, claims he was twice molested by the royal in 1977 at the infamous Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland.
Lord Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle and a second cousin of King George VI, was murdered two years later when the IRA planted a bomb on his yacht.
Now, for the first time, the High Court in Belfast is set to hear allegations that he abused a boy at the children’s home – which has faced widespread allegations of abuse.
Five years ago a public inquiry found at least 39 boys had been abused at Kincora – four decades after three members of staff were jailed for abusing 11 victims there. The inquiry criticised the authorities for failing to act and the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland last year slammed the Royal Ulster Constabulary for its poor response to complaints at the time.
Lord Mountbatten has been accused of abusing an 11-year-old boy at a children’s home – in a case being brought 43 years after his death
Despite claims security agencies actively aided the abuse, no evidence to support those allegations has been accepted. Mr Smyth, now 56, claims he was first abused by staff member William McGrath – who came to be known as ‘the beast of Kincora’ – shortly after arriving at the home.
He claims that Mr McGrath introduced him to an ‘upmarket’ stranger in August 1977 who preyed on him twice.
Mr Smyth told the Sunday Life: ‘McGrath would say, “You are going to meet a special friend”. And I went, “Oh really?” And that’s when he took me into that room – downstairs there was a big office, with a big desk and there was a shower.
‘[The stranger’s] name was never mentioned in the room. He made me have a shower and then McGrath would come down and get me afterwards.’
He claims he realised who his abuser was only in 1979 due to publicity over Lord Mountbatten’s murder.
Mr Smyth, who now lives in Australia, added: ‘You don’t forget who abused you. Trust me. You block it out but you don’t forget. I shut it down for years. I felt embarrassed by what had happened but now I want peace.’
Arthur Smyth (pictured), who has waived his right to anonymity, claims he was twice molested by the royal in 1977 at the infamous Kincora children’s home in Northern Ireland
The civil legal action against Lord Mountbatten is also against a number of Northern Irish institutions including the Department of Health and the chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Kevin Winters, Mr Smyth’s lawyer, said: ‘[This is] the first time that someone has stepped forward to take allegations against Lord Mountbatten into a court.
‘That decision hasn’t been taken lightly. He understands only too well that it will be a deeply unpopular case with many people, coming as it does within weeks of the passing of the Queen.
‘However, litigation involving mental, physical and sex abuse isn’t undertaken to deliberately offend sensitivities.’
Last night a Buckingham Palace spokesman declined to comment on the case.