Friday 24 November 2017

'Write when you start school, love Bill' - Court told of Corrie star's letter to teen

Bill Roache
Bill Roache
Coronation street actor Bill Roache arrives with daughter Verity at Preston Crown Court
Bill Roache
Bill Roache denies all charges. Photo: Martin Rickett

Sam Masters

THE 'Coronation Street' actor William Roache wrote a letter to a 14-year-old fan after he allegedly indecently assaulted her, asking her to reply "when you start school again", jurors were told yesterday.

Preston Crown Court heard the long-serving soap actor, now 81, had forced a girl to perform a sex act on him in the men's toilets at Granada Studios in Manchester in the summer of 1965 after she had visited the studio with a friend to take part in a children's talent show.

Speaking from the witness box, the woman now 63, said she met Roache -- who played Ken Barlow in 'Coronation Street' -- in a dressing room before he pulled her into the nearby toilets. She told jurors that Roache had subsequently pulled her "roughly" in the direction of the toilets where she was allegedly assaulted.

Weeks later, after leaving her address on a dressing room table, she said she received a letter and signed photograph from Roache. It said: "I am enclosing a photo which I hope you like. I am away for three weeks now but I would like a letter from you waiting for me when I get back. Write to me when you start school again and tell me more. Love Bill xx."

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC described sending the letter as "a sort of grooming as we nowadays know it".

Roache, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, is accused of taking "advantage of his stardom" to sexually abuse five young girls. He denies five historic counts of indecent assault and two historic counts of rape involving complainants who were aged 16 and under. The trial continues.(© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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