Former judge's widow on trial for sex abuse of young boy in 1980s

Lavinia Nourse, 77, of The Severals, Newmarket, arrives at Knights Chamber, Peterborough Cathedral V

Lavinia Nourse, 77, of The Severals, Newmarket, arrives at court in Peterborough - Credit: Jacob King/PA Wire

The Suffolk-based 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 The Severals, Newmarket, 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.

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."

Lavinia Nourse, 77, of The Severals, Newmarket, arrives at Knights Chamber, Peterborough Cathedral V

Lavinia Nourse, 77, has gone on trial for the sex abuse of a young boy - Credit: Jacob King/PA Wire

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

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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.

Lady Lavinia and Sir Martin Nourse married in 1972 and the couple moved to Newmarket in 1994. 

Sir Martin Nourse was a Lord Justice of Appeal of England and Wales, who served as vice-president of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal from 2003 until his retirement in 2006.

The trial continues.

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