William Roache trial: alleged victim 'humiliated and ashamed after rapes'

The woman said her 'skin crawled' when she watched Mr Roache being interviewed on TV

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The Independent Online

An alleged rape victim of Coronation Street actor William Roache was so “humiliated” at the attack she kept it a secret at the time, a jury has heard.

Preston Crown Court has been told she was a “gullible kid” who, it is alleged,  was raped twice in 1967 at the actor's then home in Lancashire - the first time when she was a 15-year-old virgin.

Her complaint to the police last March led to Mr Roache, who has played Ken Barlow since the launch of the ITV soap, being charged two months later.

Mr Roache, 81, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies the charges of  rape and five counts of indecent assault involving the four other complainants aged 16 and under on dates between 1965 and 1971.

Under cross-examination from Louise Blackwell QC, the complainant said Mr Roache did not say anything or threaten her before she left the address.

The woman said she did not tell her family or friends about what happened and went to school the next day.

“I was humiliated, disgusted and ashamed,” she said. “I was so shocked. I would never have mentioned it because I had been so gullible to have been caught in that situation.”

Asked what she did afterwards in the hours that followed, she said: “I can't remember exact details...you just want to close your mind to them.

"I never thought that I would have to repeat them. I have buried these for 47 years."

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She told the court she suffered depression after the alleged rapes and was on anti-depressants into her late teens.

She said she suffered a nervous breakdown in later life, which was related to a different matter.

The woman agreed she initially ”had no doubt“ she was 14 at the time of the rapes - although she now says she was 15.

Miss Blackwell said to her: ”The reason why you have got it so badly wrong is because you are not telling the truth, you understand?“

"I understand what you are saying," she replied.

The woman said that she had watched Coronation Street before the alleged rapes and continued do so after.

"There's no threat when he is on television," she said.

The witness said she now had problems with her short-term memory because of health reasons, but it had been confirmed medically that her long-term memory was fine, she said.

"Sometimes I can't remember what I said yesterday," she said, adding: "I have not forgotten anything about the main events, believe me."

Actors William Roache and Anne Reid who play Ken and Valerie Barlow in the English television soap opera 'Coronation Street'.


Miss Blackwell asked her how close to going to the police did she watch the Piers Morgan's Life Stories TV interview of Mr Roache.

She said she could not remember exactly when she watched the broadcast which she said had ”made my skin crawl“ after he discussed his love life.

The witness explained to prosecutor Anne Whyte QC why she did not give her name or that or Mr Roache when she made the first phone call to the police.

"I was ashamed at even bringing the incident up,“ she said.”I didn't want my name in the papers. I wasn't even sure it was confidential.

Miss Whyte said: "It has been suggested to you that are not telling the truth, what do you say about that?"

The witness replied: "It's ridiculous.

"I would expect her (Miss Blackwell) to say that. She is defending him. That is her job. It doesn't surprise me."