A MAN from Hook who is a former aide to the Duke of Edinburgh has appeared in court accused of sexually abusing a young girl in the early 1970s.

Benjamin Herman, 79, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' Court in London charged with three counts of indecent assault on a girl aged under 14 and one of attempted indecent assault on a girl aged under 16.

They are alleged to have been carried out on a girl aged 12 in 1972 at a house in London used by military personnel where Herman was living at the time, the court heard.

Herman was a serving major in the Royal Marines at the time, on secondment as equerry - a personal assistant - to Prince Philip, prosecutor Frances Lockhart told the court.

Herman was tanned and smartly dressed in a navy suit and tie as he appeared in the dock, where he spoke only to confirm his personal details.

He was released on conditional bail to appear at court in Kingston on August 18.