The boss of a children’s charity supported by the Princess of Wales is a convicted murderer, it emerged today.
Kate, 41, and William, 40, met Paul Carberry at an Action for Children event at a school but reportedly had no idea about his past.
The Princess of Wales – then Duchess of Cambridge – was pictured laughing alongside Carberry at St John’s Primary in Inverclyde, Scotland, last May.
Carberry was 16 when he fatally stabbed a man five times on a train and wounded another passenger.
He served five-and-a-half years, first in a young offenders’ institute and then an adult prison, after being found guilty of murder in 1979.
Greeting: Kate smiles and shakes the hand of Paul Carberry on visit to school last year
Guilty: Paul Carberry in 1979. He served five-and-a-half years, first in a young offenders’ institute and then an adult prison, after being found guilty of murder
Speaking at the weekend after details of his past emerged, he said it was something he had ‘regretted every day’.
Now 60 and a married father of three, Carberry said he had chosen not to speak out of respect for his victim’s family.
After his release from prison, he trained as a social worker before joining Action for Children (AfC) in 1994 and was national director for Scotland when he met Kate and William. In March, he became chief executive on £154,500 a year.
The princess has been royal patron of AfC, which aims to ‘protect and support children and young people’, since 2016.
Carberry is also in the Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce in his native Scotland with a brief to curb youth gangs.
There is no mention of the killing in any of AfC’s literature. The charity said Buckingham Palace was informed of Carberry’s past when he became chief executive.
A Palace source said the royal couple have ‘complete confidence in his abilities as chief executive’.
Carberry was reportedly part of the Govan Team gang, named after a tough district of his native Glasgow, when he stabbed John Murray, 21, on a train taking Scottish football fans to London for a match against England in 1979.
Chased: John Murray died at 21 after he was stabbed by Carberry on a train
Court reports said Carberry had been drinking and violence began after a member of his group molested a woman on board.
He was reportedly brandishing a flick knife as he chased Mr Murray and two friends on the crowded train. Carberry stabbed Michael McBain, 22, who was asleep on the floor, before stabbing Mr Murray when a locked door stopped him escaping, reports said.
Carberry denied murder, claiming he had confiscated another man’s knife and remembered nothing of the attack after being headbutted by Mr Murray during an argument. A trial at Chester Crown Court in December 1979 found him guilty.
He was given a sentence at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, an indefinite term which can never become a spent conviction under UK law, the Sunday Mirror reported.
Carberry was said to have closed his eyes and shaken his head as he was convicted. One paper reported the story under the headline: ‘Terror on the Tartan Express.’
Mr Murray’s sister said he was denied the life and successes that Carberry had gone on to enjoy.
Speaking in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, Elizabeth McLatchie told the newspaper: ‘We did hear Mr Carberry was involved with the rehabilitation of young offenders and I remember thinking it’s a pity that nobody rehabilitated him before he did what he did.
‘John was only young and I loved him. He was a nice wee boy and went everywhere in his wellies.
‘It was terrible for my mum and dad and they never got over it.’
Ms McLatchie, 69, said her brother’s fiancee Mary Manley died recently. His daughter Joan, born two months after he died, passed away eight years ago.
Carberry said he only revealed his conviction on a ‘need to know’ basis. He added he was advised to plead not guilty but now admits the murder.
‘I’ve committed a terrible offence, it’s something I regret,’ he said. ‘I’ve had many opportunities to go on record and I’ve chosen not to.
‘And the first thing for me was some mother did not have her son because of me and some child did not have a father.’
In a 1999 interview with The Mail on Sunday, he said he had ‘tried to live a normal life and make some kind of contribution to society’.
Chairman of AfC’s trustees Sarika Patel said Carberry had never hidden his past and has ‘helped support thousands of children and young people including those involved in crime’.