Widow of High Court judge in court to face sex abuse charges

Lavinia Nourse arrives at Peterborough's Nightingale Court Credit: PA Images

The widow of a High Court judge has gone on trial charged with the historical sexual abuse of a young boy in the 1980s.

Lady Lavinia Nourse, of Newmarket in Suffolk, was married to Sir Martin Nourse, who died in 2017 aged 85.

The 77-year-old has gone on trial at Peterborough's Nightingale court, in the Knight's Chamber at the city's cathedral, where she denies 17 counts of sexually abusing a boy under the age of 12.

The charges, which all relate to the same male complainant, are five counts of indecently assaulting a boy and 12 counts of indecency with a child.

Nightingale court at Knights Chamber, Peterborough Cathedral Visitor And Learning Centre Credit: PA Images

Jennifer Knight QC, prosecuting, said the boy had "never told anyone" about what Lady Lavinia did to him.

"He tried to bury away the memories and not to think about them."

She said that, years later, after the complainant got married and had children, he "became increasingly troubled by his recollection".

Ms Knight said the complainant told his wife what had happened to him and later reported his allegations to police, with Lady Lavinia first interviewed by officers in 2019.

The defendant claims that the alleged incidents of abuse did not happen, Ms Knight said.

The trial continues