Former Castle Howard director to go on trial over historic child sex charges

Simon Howard is to go on trial later this year after being charged with sex offences relating to a child.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 12:58 pm
Updated Monday, 15th March 2021, 1:18 pm

The former director of Castle Howard estate appeared before York Crown Court this morning (Monday) charged with indecent assault of a girl under the age of 14 and inciting gross indecency.

The charges relate to an incident which allegedly occurred on the estate in March, 1984, against one girl.

Howard, 65, has yet to be arraigned but is due to go on trial on October 18 this year.

Simon Howard, pictured at the chapel at Castle Howard

In a hearing before the magistrates' court last month, representation for Howard indicated he would be pleading not guilty to the charges.

During the brief hearing before His Honour Judge Hickey today, it was heard that Howard would also be back before the court ten days before the trial is due to take place.

Howard, who is being represented by Abbas Lakha, was granted unconditional bail.

Simon Howard managed the Castle Howard estate between 1983 and 2015, in which time the location was used for filming Brideshead Revisted. The stately home near Malton also featured as Clyvedon Castle in recent Netflix series Bridgerton.

York Crown Court

North Yorkshire Police confirmed on February 12 that Howard had been charged over the accusations from 1984.

A statement issued by the family at the time said: "Simon Howard's whole family are shocked by these allegations and are fully supportive of his confidence that he is innocent of all charges - which he denies in the strongest possible terms."

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