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  1. ITV Report

Alleged Roache victim felt 'a coward'

William Roache (centre) with son Linus and daughter Verity. Photo: Press Association

An alleged sex assault victim of Coronation Street star William Roache said she felt "a coward" for not going to the police before she did.

The woman claims the actor made her perform a sex act on him while he gave her a lift home in his Rolls-Royce.

The alleged incident is said to have happened between June 1968 and September 1971.

Jurors at Preston Crown Court heard she contacted police on May 1 last year on the day that it emerged that Roache had been arrested on suspicion of raping a young girl.

Giving evidence, she was asked by prosecutor Anne Whyte if that had had any effect.

She replied: "She made me feel a coward because she came forward first. She had guts to do it.

"She was brave enough to do it.

"I didn't have the guts to do it first."

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

Earlier, in a police interview played to the court, the woman said she was with a friend autograph-hunting outside Granada Studios in Manchester when Roache - who plays Ken Barlow in the soap - offered them a lift home in his Silver Cloud Rolls.

The witness's sister, who is two years older, claimed Roache indecently assaulted her on a separate occasion when she was aged 14, after they were both invited inside the studios by the defendant.

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