Benson slams paparazzi

Mohamed Al Fayed's UK legal adviser Stuart Benson has attacked the tactics used by the paparazzi after travelling to Paris to help Al Fayed's French legal team following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed.

Benson, who has been advising Fayed since he left Dibb Lupton Alsop, flew to Paris several times to gather information for Al Fayed.

He viewed Ritz Hotel security videos of the paparrazi and spoke to security staff and Dodi Fayed's other bodyguard Kes Wingfield, who worked with Trevor Rees Jones, who was severely injured in the crash.

Benson, of crisis management company Rhodes Benson Management, acknowledged it had not yet been established exactly what caused the crash, but said Wingfield and the security men had complained about the behaviour of the photographers during the day as well as their general tactics.

“The motorbikes pull in front of you and slow right down. When you see the evidence with your own eyes, you realise the terrifyingly aggressive behaviour of the paparazzi.”

He denied press reports suggesting driver Henri Paul was “staggering and swaying” before he got in the car. He said the video showed that when Paul got out of the car on arriving at the Ritz “he was clearly not swaying or staggering”.

He claimed the paparazzi would not have seen him get into his car anyway.