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Queen's relative jailed for sexually assaulting woman at Scottish castle

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3-min read
Simon Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore, arrives at Dundee Sheriff Court ahead of sentencing for sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home in February 2020. Bowes-Lyon, 34, admitted to attacking a woman in a bedroom at Glamis Castle in Angus. Picture date: Tuesday February 23, 2021.
Simon Bowes-Lyon admitted committing sexual assault at Glamis Castle last year. (PA)

A relative of the Queen who sexually assaulted a woman at his ancestral home has been jailed.

Simon Bowes-Lyon, 34, the Earl of Strathmore, forced his way into the woman's bedroom at Glamis Castle, north of Dundee, while she attended an event in February last year.

She was left "shaken" and barricading her bedroom to stop him from getting back in.

The son of a cousin of the Queen, Bowes-Lyon was sentenced to 10 months in prison at Dundee Sheriff's Court on Tuesday.

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The assault took place at Glamis Castle. (PA)
The assault took place at Glamis Castle. (PA)
The Earl of Strathmore is escorted in handcuffs from Dundee Sheriff Court. (PA)
The Earl of Strathmore is escorted in handcuffs from Dundee Sheriff Court. (PA)

The court heard the woman was attending a three-day public relations event at the castle and went to bed when Bowes-Lyon went to her room drunk at about 1.20am.

He persuaded her to open the door and he pushed her on to the bed and sexually assaulted her.

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael said: "Throughout all of this she made it clear that she wanted you to stop.

"She told you repeatedly that she had a boyfriend, repeatedly told you to leave and repeatedly had to keep pushing you away from her, all of which you ignored.

"Once she’d finally managed to eject you from her bedroom, you returned to the door and pleaded with her to let you back in."

Bowes-Lyon, whose attack and refusal to leave lasted about 20 minutes, left the woman "upset and afraid" and "shaking".

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Dundee Sheriff Court as Simon Bowes-Lyon, the Earl of Strathmore, is due for sentencing for sexually assaulting a woman at his ancestral home in February 2020. Bowes-Lyon, 34, admitted to attacking a woman in a bedroom at Glamis Castle in Angus. Picture date: Tuesday February 23, 2021.
Bowes-Lyon was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court on Tuesday. (PA)

She locked the bedroom door and wedged a chair under the handle to stop him getting back in.

She continues to suffer nightmares and feels panicked by the assault, Sheriff Carmichael said.

He told Bowes-Lyon that though they had spoken at the event, she told him she had no sexual interest in him and "had done nothing that could reasonably have been interpreted by you to the contrary".

The attack was worsened by the fact he was the host, he forced his way past her into her bedroom and continued to assault her despite "repeated verbal and physical protestations" to stop, Sheriff Carmichael told him.

He said mitigation came from Bowes-Lyon's apology "soon after the assault", showed remorse and appeared to "be otherwise of good character" with no previous convictions.

Bowes-Lyon said in a statement outside court after previously admitting the offence: “I am greatly ashamed of my actions which have caused such distress to a guest in my home.

"When I realised what I had done I apologised quickly to the woman concerned."

He added: "Clearly, I had drunk to excess on the night of the incident. As someone who is only too well aware of the damage that alcohol can cause, I should have known better.

"I recognise, in any event, that alcohol is no excuse for my behaviour."

Glamis Castle is the seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the family which the Queen Mother belonged to.

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