William Roache 'wrote to girl asking for reply when she started school'
William Roache wrote to a 14-year-old girl he indecently assaulted asking her to "write to me when you start school again" and signed the letter with the words "love Bill", a court has heard
William Roache wrote to a 14-year-old girl he indecently assaulted asking her to "write to me when you start school again", a court has heard.
The complainant, who is now 63, gave evidence at Preston Crown Court yesterday (15.01.14) against the 81-year-old actor, who is accused of two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1967 and five counts of indecent assault involving four girls, aged from 11 to 16, between 1965 and 1968, all of which he "strenuously" denies.
Speaking from the witness box, the woman told the court how she met the 'Coronation Street' star in the summer of 1965 at Granada Studios in Manchester, where she claims he indecently assaulted her in the male toilets and then asked for her address to which he sent her a letter and signed photograph.
It read: "Dear [the alleged victim], thank you for your marvellous letter and the nice things you said in it.
"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."
When asked by prosecutor Anne Whyte how the letter had made her feel at the time, she replied: "I suppose I was flattered at the attention. I didn't understand some of it.
"I had not written a letter. I left a note as well as my address.
"The 'tell me more' didn't make sense. I don't know what it referred to."
The woman recalled being at Granada Studios with her friend for a talent show in 1965 when they went "exploring" and came across William's dressing room, the court heard.
She said at one point she and William left the dressing room and he pulled her "roughly" by the arm to the men's toilet, where the alleged indecent assault took place.
Speaking about how she felt at the time, she told the court: "I was taken aback. I wasn't quite sure why I was in there. I should not have been in there.
"My main worry was that I was in the gents' toilets. I was the one in the wrong place. What was wrong was me. I was shocked and I didn't really understand what was going on, but the one thing I thoroughly understood was that I should not have been in the gents."
The complainant also recalled returning to Granada Studios later that year after receiving the letter, and she informed the court William had told her he would pick her up from outside the studios in his car.
Louise Blackwell QC, defending the actor, suggested this was an "odd" arrangement.
But the woman replied: "No, because at that stage I thought we were having some sort of clandestine relationship, however tenuous."
The jury was told William later parked near a railway embankment in Stockport, Greater Manchester, and they had a conversation about oral sex, during which he asked her when she was going to turn 16.
The woman explained that at the time she wouldn't have understood what he was talking about, adding: "I had no concept of oral sex at all."
The trial continues.