Thursday 18 January 2018

Actor told girl to stay away from 'cockroach Ken', trial hears

Coronation Street actor William Roache
Coronation Street actor William Roache

Keith Perry

A 'Coronation Street' actor warned a 14-year-old girl who was visiting the show's set to be wary of fellow star William Roache because he was a "cockroach with a capital C", a court heard yesterday.

Peter Adamson, who played Len Fairclough in the soap opera, warned the teenager that Mr Roache would "lead her astray", it was claimed.

The alleged victim claims Mr Roache indecently assaulted her when she was about 14 after he arranged passes for herself and her younger sister on a visit to Granada Studios in Manchester.

She told the jury at Preston Crown Court last week that Mr Roache groped her in a room after she was led past the Rovers Return pub on the set.

Yesterday, as she was cross-examined by the defendant's lawyer, Louise Blackwell, she claimed that Mr Adamson made the "cockroach" remark about the actor while she was at the studios. "It was Len Fairclough that made the comment," she said.

"Because when he said it he looked directly at him and he looked at us and said, 'You want to keep your eye on him, he will lead you astray,' and he called him 'cockroach'.

"Len Fairclough said that he would lead us astray. He called him a cockroach with a capital C."

Mr Roache (81), of Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies two counts of rape and five counts of indecent assault involving five complainants aged 16 and under on dates between 1965 and 1971.

The court heard that the alleged victim and her sister would sit on the steps outside the studio in the summer holidays in the mid to late-Sixties, autograph-hunting. On one occasion after she was invited inside the studios, Mr Roache, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap for more than 50 years, took her to his dressing room and indecently assaulted her by putting his hands on her breasts and up her skirt, it was alleged. She told police: "He was like an octopus - hands everywhere."

Mr Roache was charged last May with two counts of rape involving one alleged victim, with the publicity leading to four other complainants coming forward.

The witness said she felt the incident had been her fault "for being there".

Her sister claims she was abused by Mr Roache on a separate occasion.

As the cross-examination continued, the witness agreed that she sometimes got details about times and dates wrong. Ms Blackwell put it to her: "You have not been telling the truth at all."

The alleged victim replied: "I have not come here to be called a liar and put myself through all these months of hell.

"When I watched him on 'Coronation Street' me and my sister were starstruck. What we did not know, he had another name, that's Bill Roache, that was not a nice man." The trial continues. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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