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Lady Nourse calls for anonymity for sex case accused


The widow of High Court judge Sir Martin Nourse is convinced she only suffered her court ordeal because she was married to a distinguished establishment figure.

She said: “There was a very high chance that if I was found guilty that I would go to jail and I just find it really frightening that people can tell lies that actually can send an innocent person to prison.”

Lady Nourse, 77, was cleared of sexually abusing a boy under 12 in the 1980s. She told Emma Barnett on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour the two-week trial at Peterborough’s Nightingale Court in May was “hell”. She added: “I’ve never been so frightened, lonely, utterly miserable.”

Many lawyers argue for accuser and defendant to have anonymity until guilty verdicts, in similar cases. Lady Nourse, of Newmarket, said: “I’m raising awareness of the question of anonymity to the point of charge.”

In her case, the complainant opted not to give evidence behind a screen.

She said: “To listen to all the ghastly things said about me…it’s just horrendous…an absolute nightmare.”

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