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Former Royal Bodyguard Wins Damages

December 1, 1999

LONDON (AP) _ The tabloid Mail on Sunday agreed Wednesday to pay undisclosed damages to a former royal bodyguard for wrongly reporting that he had been fired after embarrassing Prince Charles.

The newspaper also apologized to Colin Trimming, 53, who retires from the Metropolitan Police later this month after 34 years.

Trimming had sued the newspaper for its report in January that Charles had asked for a replacement after he ``caused huge embarrassment and exposed the prince to serious scandal.″

``These allegations were completely untrue,″ said Sarah Webb, Trimming’s lawyer, told the High Court in London.

During a distinguished 25-year career guarding various royals, Trimming had been made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order and had received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for leaping between Charles and an armed assailant during a tour of Australia in 1994, Ms. Webb said.

``He is retiring with the reluctant agreement of the prince after detailed consultation with him,″ she said.

The Mail on Sunday alleged that Trimming, a chief superintendent, had embarrassed Charles by threatening to shoot a journalist on a royal flight because the journalist’s baggage had been mislaid.

Ms. Webb said The Mail on Sunday had accepted that its report was untrue and would pay Trimming ``substantial damages″ as well settling his legal bills.

Jaron Lewis, a lawyer for The Mail on Sunday, told the court: ``The defendants apologize unreservedly and express their sincere regret ... for the distress and embarrassment caused″ to Trimming.

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