Northern Ireland

Former Kincora resident claims he was sexually abused by Lord Louis Mountbatten

Lord Louis Mountbatten. Picture by PA Wire
Lord Louis Mountbatten. Picture by PA Wire

ALLEGATIONS that Lord Louis Mountbatten sexually abused a former resident of the notorious Kincora boys home in east Belfast are due to be aired in a Belfast courtroom.

Arthur Smyth, a one time resident of Kincora who now lives in Australia, has waived his right to anonymity to make the allegations against the late uncle of King Charles III, who was killed by the IRA in 1979.

Lord Mountbatten was killed along with three others, including a 15-year-old Paul Maxwell, when a bomb was detonated on his boat at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo.

Mr Smyth’s solicitor, Kevin Winters, said the allegations form part of a civil action against various organisations responsible for the care of children in Kincora.

Pre-action letters alleging negligence and breach of duty of care were issued by the solicitor last month to the Business Services Organisation, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, the secretary of state, the PSNI chief constable and the Department of Health.

"He alleges to have been abused twice as an 11-year-old by the deceased royal," Mr Winters said.

"It’s the first time that someone has stepped forward to take allegations against Lord Mountbatten into a court."

Mr Winters said his client's decision to go public "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," he said.

The solicitor said litigation involving mental, physical and sex abuse "isn’t undertaken to deliberately offend sensitivities".

"It’s taken for many reasons including exposing perpetrators and the institutions or other agencies which helped suppress the truth," he said.

Mr Smyth told the Sunday Life he had been abused by Lord Mountbatten in 1977 but only realised who he was two years later from news reports after his murder.

The police are also part of the legal action because of their failure to adequately investigate allegations about the children’s home which were first raised in the early 1970s.

A 2017 public inquiry into historical abuse at a number of institutions in the north found that 39 boys had been abused at Kincora over several years, and children there had been let down by government agencies.

Three former Kincora staff, who have since died, were jailed in 1981 for abusing 11 boys.

The public inquiry found no evidence to substantiate claims that security force agencies had been complicit in the abuse.

The PSNI last month apologised to the victims of abuse at the boys home after a report by the Police Ombudsman found major deficiencies in how the then RUC responded to abuse complaints raised by residents.