Ken Barlow, AKA Bill Roache, is currently standing trial for historic sexual offences against five girls, and his alleged victims gave evidence yesterday afternoon. And there you thought he was in Canada.
The Mirror were in attendance at Preston Crown Court and have a detailed live blog of what happened during proceedings. One of the witnesses claims herself and a friend were at Granada Studios to enter a talent competition in the 60s. They went for a wander and wound up in Roaches dressing room. She then alleges he "took her by the arm and brought her into the men's toilets", where she was forced to perform a sex act, of which she said: "It was outside my experience. I was shocked and didn't understand. The only thing I thoroughly understood was that I shouldn't be in the gent's toilet."
After the incident, she recalls Roache asked her for her address so he could keep in touch. In a daze, she gave her contact details and claims she received a signed photo and a note from the star sometime later which read: "I am away for three weeks, but I would like a letter from you when I get back... write to me when you start school again."
She wound up at the studios again "by arrangement" and was taken on a tour of Corrie set, before taking a lift in Roache's car. Another sex act allegedly took place after Roache asked the date of her 16th birthday - because he "wouldn't do it properly until you're 16." The witness then claims Roache "dropped her off near her home." She recalled telling people of their "relationship", saying: "In my mind it was a relationship. I was an impressionable teenage girl."
Another witness also gave evidence claiming she was in the ladies toilets in Granada Studios, aged 16, when she became "aware" of Roache standing "right behind" her. She says he then pinned her against a wall and ventured under her jumper: "I was in complete shock - absolute shock. I was really upset about it. I was really cross about him touching my new bra. I remember that."
The Mirror's report then goes on to detail how she discussed the incident with her husband while viewing an episode of Corrie back in 1988.
Mr Roache denies all allegations. The trial continues this morning at Preston Crown Court.