The sensational prospect that Prince Harry could be the first senior Royal in living memory to give evidence in a criminal trial moved a step closer today when the man accused of stealing a mobile phone from his friend Tom van Straubenzee was committed for trial at Britain's Crown Court.
Winful Taylor, 27, is accused of grabbing the Blackberry from Harry's mate 'Van' while Harry, at home at Clarence House, was on the other end of the line.
Mr Taylor made his first appearance in court today, at a low-ranking magistrates court. He appeared at 10am. A clerk at the court told the Daily Beast that the Judge decided that the case was so serious, it must be tried at the higher Crown Court. If Mr Taylor pleads not guilty, a full jury trial will result, and it seems inevitable that Harry will be sworn in to testify.
It is the first offence of which Mr Taylor has ever been accused.
Harry would be an invaluable witness as he was actually on the other end of the line when the mugging took place, and heard the attack unfold as it happened at 8:30 p.m on the night of Novemebr 30.
Hearing the robbery take place prompted Harry into dramatic action. Fearing for his friend’s safety, Harry rushed outside and leapt into his car, making directly for the Albert Bridge Road, the area of Battersea where van Straubenzee, who was an usher at William’s wedding, was walking when the attack happened.
Harry and his personal-protection officer drove around the streets looking for his friend, but, unable to find him, Harry then headed to the nearest police station, on Battersea Bridge Road, where he found van Straubenzee, a childhood friend with whom he attended both Ludgrove school and Eton, in the act of reporting the crime.
Harry made a statement, and has made it clear that he is ready to testify if called. It would make him the first senior royal to give evidence in a criminal prosecution.