Court hears man's historical sex abuse claims a "very unpalatable truth"

Lady Lavinia Nourse denies all the charges

A man's claims that he was sexually abused by the wife of a Court of Appeal judge in the 1980s are the "very unpalatable truth", a prosecution barrister told jurors.

Lady Lavinia Nourse was married to Sir Martin Nourse, who died in 2017 aged 85. The 77-year-old widow, of Newmarket, Suffolk, is on trial at Peterborough's Nightingale court where she denies 17 counts of historical sexual abuse.

Jennifer Knight QC said, in her prosecution closing speech to jurors, that the man's allegations about what happened to him as a boy "are not an easy lie".

The prosecution counsel added that the complainant began to tell people about what allegedly happened to him years later after "his distress (and) his anger were affecting his relationship with his wife".

Jonathan Caplan QC said, in his defence closing speech, that the man wanted money.

The defence barrister told jurors: "We do ask that you examine the evidence carefully and that you will give a verdict in accordance with your oath, which we suggest on all cases on the indictment must be not guilty."

The charges, which all relate to the same male complainant, are five counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 12 and 12 counts of indecency with a child. The trial judge, the Honourable Mr Justice Bryan, began summing up evidence in the case to jurors yesterday.

This is expected to continue later, before jurors retire to consider their verdicts