Monday 19 March 2018

Le Vell 'rape victim' denies lying

A girl who claims Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell, who lives in Cheshire, raped her made the allegations after she heard a motivational speech from a rape victim, a court heard.

Le Vell, 48, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The alleged victim broke down in tears in the witness box on Monday as she told the jury of the alleged abuse.

The witness, who is giving evidence from behind a screen at Manchester Crown Court, cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Alisdair Williamson, defending Le Vell, questioned the girl's story and motivations, and accused her of lying.

Mr Williamson said the witness had been to an "inspirational self-help" conference and at this event she heard a motivational speech from a woman who was raped at a young age and then went on to rebuild her life and become a success.

He put it to the witness that when she returned she told family: "It's all right, I'm part of a special group now."

The witness said: "I don't remember saying that."

Mr Williamson told the court that she seemed "so excited" about it that a family member thought her behaviour was "weird".

The witness said she did not think she had got excited.

Mr Williamson said: "Is that what some of this is about? You heard this lady talking about how she was raped when she was very young and how she went on and became a model? You want to become an actress or a dancer, is that right?"

She replied: "I wanted to, I don't any more."

Earlier the barrister asked her about alleged inconsistencies in what she had told police.

Mr Williamson suggested that when the girl was interviewed on video by police she said some "silly things" that she has left out of her account given in court.

The lawyer told the court the witness had initially told police she had never talked to anyone about the alleged abuse.

But Mr Williamson claimed the witness had actually "told lots of girls" about it.

"I told two friends because they saw me crying," the witness replied.

But when police were called in, the girl told the officer she had not told anyone, the court heard.

Mr Williamson continued: "The officer came to see you because ... you told people and you told the officer a little lie. You told him you had not told the girls, they had just guessed.

"I suggest that was a little lie?"

"No," the witness replied.

Mr Williamson said in police interviews the girl claimed to remember the exact times when alleged rapes took place - and she claimed two of the rapes happened at exactly the same time.

Mr Williamson continued: "Was it a detail you were putting in to make you more convincing and you now realise it sounds a bit silly?"

"No," she replied.

"It didn't happen," Mr Williamson said.

"It did," the witness replied.

During further questions from Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, the girl said she could not remember seeing the motivational speech from the rape victim.

"Have you got your idea about these allegations from anything that took place at that conference?" Ms Laws said.

"No," the witness replied.

The court heard that, when questioned by another adult about the allegations, the girl replied: "I wouldn't make something like this up. It's true."

The jury heard that, after being first interviewed by police, the girl did not mention that Le Vell had allegedly raped her orally.

She only volunteered the information to police about the oral rapes in March 2012, after the Crown Prosecution Service had decided to drop the case in December 2011.

And she only mentioned a further alleged rape earlier this year after an "additional memory", the court heard.

Breaking down in tears, the witness told the jury: "I had a lot more flashbacks. I was very confused.

"Because what he did to me was so wrong. I was so young."

Ms Laws continued: "Has Michael Le Vell done anything to cause you to make up these wicked lies?"

"No," the girl said.

"Why have you made these allegations?" Ms Laws said.

"Because they are true," she replied.

Concluding the girl's evidence in the witness box, Ms Laws asked: "Have you some sort of vendetta, any reason to hate Michael Le Vell or bring him down and cause him all of this?"

"No," the girl replied.

Press Association

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