Alleged child sex abuse victim tells court ‘now I know it was wrong’

Julian Myerscough Picture: ARCHANT

Julian Myerscough Picture: ARCHANT

An alleged victim of sexual abuse by a former university lecturer has told a court she felt unable to disclose accusations when asked about his behaviour a decade ago.

The young woman told Ipswich Crown Court that Julian Myerscough had sexually assaulted her as a child - but that she only felt able to reveal the allegations last year.

She claimed to have been uninformed about sex and inappropriate behaviour when spoken to following Myerscough's arrest for possessing indecent images of children in 2009.

The former University of East Anglia law lecturer was subsequently convicted of possessing indecent images in 2010 - and again in 2017, when he left the country before sentencing and was brought back on a warrant the following August.

The 57-year-old denies 11 charges relating to three girls under 13 between 2001 and 2010, including two offences of rape, four of indecent assault and four of assault by penetration.

During Tuesday's proceedings, Simon Spence, defending Myerscough, asked one of the alleged victims why claims had not come to light earlier.

"I didn't have a close relationship with my parents at the time and didn't feel able to talk to them about things," she replied.

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Mr Spence said: "You told police you would tell your dad or teacher if anything made you unhappy or worried you."

She replied: "That was true, at the time, but I didn't understand what was going on, whereas now I can say this because I know it was wrong."

The court also heard a written statement from the woman's former boyfriend, who recalled her sobbing in bed, and disclosing accusations of being touched as a child, on the first occasion their relationship became sexual.

The statement read: "I encouraged her to go to the police, but she always said she could not face seeing him again. She said she was scared and didn't think she could do it."

In another statement, a friend of the alleged victim also recalled her making the same revelations on another occasion, adding: "She explained she had never told anyone, and that it was the sexual side of her relationship that had brought it to the fore.

"I think I was too shell-shocked to react in an appropriate way, and think I wanted to respect her decision to leave it in the past."

The trial continues.

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