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Accused butler's relative says stress of case caused illness

A RELATIVE of Princess Diana's former butler believes the stress of the criminal investigation is the likely reason why he fell ill on holiday.

A RELATIVE of Princess Diana's former butler believes the stress of the criminal investigation is the likely reason why he fell ill on holiday.

Paul Burrell had to be taken to hospital while visiting Florida with relatives after being charged with the theft of royal belongings. He is now back home in High Street, Farndon.

Brother-in-law Peter Cosgrove, of Church Street, Farndon, says the illness is probably due to the pressure on Mr Burrell, who is married to Maria and has sons Alex, 16, and Nick, 13.

He said: 'They don't know what it is yet. He went to hospital yesterday (Tuesday) for tests. He says Mr Burrell is as well as can be expected.'

Mr Cosgrove, who was on the US trip, added: 'It was not very nice being met by hordes of photographers at the airport and then being aware photographers were everywhere we went.'

Mr Burrell has pleaded not guilty to stealing £5m worth of property from the estate of Diana, Princess of Wales, Prince Charles and Prince William.

Asked whether he felt confident his relative would be cleared of all charges relating to the alleged theft of 414 personal items, Mr Cosgrove said emphatically: 'Absolutely.'

Meanwhile, Chester lawyer Andrew Shaw, who is representing Mr Burrell, has spoken to the Law Gazette about the case.

Mr Shaw, 45, who appears in the lawyer in the news section, works for Nicholas Street-based Walker, Smith & Way.

He said: 'This sort of case comes around once in a lifetime, because in the course of taking instruction I have been made privy to information relating to the affairs of the royal family.

'This information has made me feel privileged but also sad as Mr Burrell, through a strong sense of loyalty and duty, would never have disclosed these matters had he not been compelled to do so.

'I sense from the things said to me and from much of the media coverage that there is a great public support for Mr Burrell, which generates a positive and very productive atmosphere.'

Mr Shaw, who explained that Mr Burrell was recommended to him by a partner in another Chester law firm, said that he was on a learning curve in terms of dealing with the media.

He said: 'I have dealt with a number of high profile cases, such as unsuccessfully defending Changing Rooms star Elizabeth Wagstaff on charges of theft, so I have had some previous television and Press coverage.

'However, I do still feel very much a novice and prefer time to prepare commentary properly. I sympathise with those who are subject to Press attention constantly because of the intrusive and immediate nature of the demands which it makes, and because of the potential for error involved.

'The process of dealing with the media is also very time-consuming and difficult to balance with other matters that need to be attended to.'


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
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