The director of an East Anglian care homes company is to stand trial accused of sexual assault.

Bharat Raghu, 72, founder and director of East Anglian Care Homes, appeared at Norwich Crown Court having been charged with sexual assault on a female on February 8 last year.

Raghu, of Caistor Lane, Caistor St Edmund, near Norwich, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday (March 28).

A trial was fixed for April 15 next year although the venue is yet to be decided as the case might have to be held elsewhere.

Judge Katharine Moore listed a further case management hearing to take place on Monday, September 11.

Marti Blair appeared for the prosecution and Howard Catherall represented Rahgu at the hearing.

The East Anglia Care Homes website states Raghu is fully involved in every aspect of work at Sutherlands care home in Wymondham and Halvergate House care home in North Walsham.

The website states he is always to hand to speak with residents, their families and prospective residents.

It adds that Sutherlands is named after one of Mr Raghu’s favourite sopranos, the late Australian opera singer Dame Joan Sutherland.