Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Herman, Royal Marines (retired), is a man of old school charm and courtesy.
It is easy to see why, while serving as a major in the Marines in 1971, he was seconded to Buckingham Palace to work as Equerry in Waiting to Prince Philip, and later as Private Secretary to Princess Anne.
Discretion, integrity, and impeccable social and organisational skills were prerequisites of his job in the Royal Household and he considered it an honour to have been selected, especially since the Duke of Edinburgh was Captain General of his regiment.
A genial man, he has the effortless manners of the well-bred.
Much less easy to fathom are the motives of the woman, now aged 54 — her identity remains protected by law — who, in February 2013, made a series of serious allegations against Lt Col Herman.
Prompted, she said, by watching a TV documentary on paedophile DJ Jimmy Savile, she came forward, exhuming ‘shameful’ secrets as a victim of child abuse that she’d hidden for more than 40 years.
She claimed Lt Col Herman had groomed her and sexually assaulted her on several occasions while he was working as the Duke of Edinburgh’s personal assistant and she was aged 11 or 12.
The allegations were graphic — and the charges as preposterous as they were uncorroborated.
Lt Col Herman, it emerged, had no idea who his accuser was. Indeed, although her family and his both lived on the same housing estate in South-west London, he had never even met — let alone assaulted — her.
Nevertheless, he was charged with three counts of indecent assault on a girl under 13 and one count of indecency towards a child between 1972 and 1974.
A few weeks ago, a jury took just 40 minutes to acquit him of all the charges. But today his indignation at the iniquity of the law burns.
Read more of this astonishing story on the Daily Mail website.