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Prince Harry and Meghan hire bodyguard with history of domestic abuse

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 28/09/2022 Patrick Sawer, Hannah Furness
Pere Daobry pictured with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at London Euston station in September - Mega Agency © Mega Agency Pere Daobry pictured with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at London Euston station in September - Mega Agency

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were protected during their visit to Britain by a bodyguard who has been convicted of domestic violence.

The couple, who made private security arrangements for their trip to the UK, were photographed being driven by Pere Daobry.

Mr Daobry, a former Metropolitan Police firearms officer, has previously been convicted of assault for attacking his then-wife. He was spared jail after telephoning 999 himself.

He is now believed to be working for a private security firm and was photographed in the Sussexes’ car alongside their long-standing protection officer.

The Duke and Duchess were not aware of the conviction.

The Duchess in particular has been a vocal advocate for women’s rights, speaking about the "crisis state" of gender-based violence during her 2019 visit to South Africa.

Then, during a visit to ActionAid, she spoke about the “key” importance of women being supported after reporting gender-based violence and holding men and boys accountable for their actions.

Speaking of her visit to local communities, she said it was essential “that when they tell somebody, that somebody does something”, adding that if "everyone is saying ‘well that’s just what is done, that’s just how it is’ ... you’re shamed into not talking about it, even though you are the victim”.

Genesis, a women's shelter and support group, is among the organisations supported with a grant from the Sussexes’ Archewell Foundation.

Mr Daobry’s father confirmed his son was the man photographed working as a personal bodyguard for the Duke and the Duchess.

Speaking at his family home in Edmonton, north London, Mr Daobry Snr said: “Yes, that is my son in the photographs with Harry and Meghan but I don’t want to make any comment about his job. He is a grown man with four children and can speak for himself.”

He refused to comment on his son’s conviction for domestic violence against his ex-wife, who is believed to have later taken her own life, and whether it was appropriate for him to be working for the Duchess given her strong support for victims of violence and women’s rights.

“Why should I comment? Ask him. I have nothing to say,” said Mr Daobry Snr.

The bodyguard is one of several employed to protect the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their trip to the UK and Germany.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed longer in the UK than originally planned, following Queen Elizabeth II's death - Alkis Konstantinidis/AFP via Getty Images © Provided by The Telegraph The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed longer in the UK than originally planned, following Queen Elizabeth II's death - Alkis Konstantinidis/AFP via Getty Images

The Duke is currently embroiled in a dispute over whether his family should qualify for Metropolitan Police protection whenever they are in the UK.

He is currently in the middle of a court battle with the Home Office, this summer winning the right to challenge its decision not to grant him automatic police protection.

During the couple’s visit to Europe, which was supposed to last four days but was extended after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, they used private protection to attend an event in Manchester and during a one-day trip to the Invictus Games in Dusseldorf.

One bodyguard, MailOnline reported, was Pere Daobry, 51, who was photographed driving them from their Frogmore Cottage home to London Euston station.

In Sept 2016, he was convicted at Colchester Magistrates’ Court of assault after attacking his wife, Sarah Jay.

Pere Daobry pictured with Sarah Jay in 2015 - East News Press Agency © Provided by The Telegraph Pere Daobry pictured with Sarah Jay in 2015 - East News Press Agency

Mrs Jay, a former Essex Police sergeant, had endured a minute-long attack in which he throttled her with both hands after she told him she no longer loved him, according to court reports at the time.

He was given a 12-week suspended sentence. The chairman of the magistrates’ court bench called it a “very unpleasant assault on Mrs Jay” which left her “clearly terrified”, but added that Mr Daobry had the “decency” to ring 999 afterwards.

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