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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Married Cumbrian couple deny obscene behaviour in garden

A married couple have gone on trial accused of outraging public decency by performing a sex act in their garden infull view of their neighbours.

Notridges photo
Spencer and Jacqueline Notridge

Spencer Notridge, 37 and his wife Jacqueline, 41, have denied indulging in what the prosecution saw was “lewd, obscene and disgusting” behaviour in their back garden at Scalegate Road, Upperby, last June.

Spencer Notridge has also denied a second charge of intentionally exposing himself on July 2 last year.

Opening the case for the prosecution at Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, prosecutor Brendan Burke said the couple performed a sex act on June 16, doing it in their back garden, which was easily overlooked by neighbours.

Some of the people living in the area had children.

The barrister described how one neighbour was working in his back garden when he stood up and glanced over the defendants’ garden fence.It was then that he saw them performing a sex act.

Mr Burke told the jury that a few weeks earlier, on May 17, Spencer Notridge had pleaded guilty to a separate allegation of outraging public decency.

“What happened was that his wife had been taken to hospital,” said Mr Burke.

He explained that the couple had been in a cubicle at The Cumberland Infirmary when a nurse walked past and noticed that Spencer Notridge was next to his wife with his pants down.

Mr Burke suggested the incident showed Spencer Notridge had a propensity to be interested in sexual behaviour where he could be seen by other people.

The court heard evidence from the first witnesses in the case, a couple who are neighbours of the defendants.

The man said he was working in his garden on June 16, which was a sunny day, and he saw the Notridges in their garden, drinking lager. He saw Spencer Notridge talking over the fence to neighbours about their dog, a husky.

Later, when he stood up, he glanced over the fence and saw the couple engaging in a sex act in the garden. He said he could clearly see Spencer Notridge’s bare bottom.

Questioned by Jonathan Clarke, for Spencer Notridge, the man said Jacqueline Notridge had been a brilliant neighbour. He agreed Spencer had appeared on the scene after she suffered a stroke, which left her disabled.

The man agreed he was aware of what Spencer Notridge’s had done at The Cumberland Infirmary., saying: “It was disgusting.” He agreed also that he was not happy with him being a neighbour. The man said there was no possibility he had misinterpreted what he saw.

Mr Clarke said: “You have made up false allegations against Spencer Notridge.”

The man replied: “No.”

He said: “I observed them for two or three seconds: long enough to know that I saw.”

The man’s wife said she had kept a diary of her concerns about Spencer Notridge, which included a claim that he was seen lying on the ground with an “underage” girl.Describing the events of June 16, she said her husband had been “very angry.”Mr Clarke suggested the incident never happened. The woman said: “My husband would never have reacted the way he did if it hadn’t happened.”

The trial continues.

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