Arthur Smyth is the first person to put his name and face to claims he was abused by Lord Mountbatten
“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,” said his solicitor Kevin Winters.
“However, litigation involving mental, physical and sex abuse isn’t undertaken to offend sensitivities. It’s taken for many reasons, including exposing perpetrators and the institutions or other agencies which helped suppress the truth.”
Before this, allegations came from those not prepared to go public. A book about the earl, released three years ago, had interviews with two unnamed men who described being brought from Kincora to Classiebawn Castle in Mullaghmore.
Both 16 at the time, they claimed they were molested by Mountbatten, who was known to family and friends as Dickie.
It was many years before that when such allegations first surfaced, including those of an “old boys’ network” at Kincora, which was ruled out by the Historical Abuse Inquiry.
But Kevin Winters said Arthur Smyth’s story should not be easily dismissed.
“I commend Arthur’s resilience in taking this case and indeed his bravery in going public for the first time,’’ he added.
“Understandably, many abuse survivors choose to remain anonymous.
“Arthur’s decision to reveal his identity must be set against this backdrop. It is borne out of anger at systemic state cover-up of abuse at these institutions.”
“The Chief Constable has received legal correspondence in relation to this matter, which is subject to ongoing litigation. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time,” said the PSNI.
The Department of Health said it “does not comment” on individual cases. There was no response from the Belfast Trust.
This case now in the in-tray of Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris. The Northern Ireland Office that he oversees said it “would be inappropriate to comment on ongoing legal proceedings”.
Lord Mountbatten features heavily in Arthur Smyth’s account of what happened to him as a boy. His letter of claim will be laid before the court at a later date.