East Lancashire woman suffered 'depression' after alleged rape by Bill Roache

First published in East Lancashire

AN East Lancashire woman who claims she was raped by Coronation Street star Bill Roache suffered from depression after the alleged attacks, a jury has heard.

The woman, now 62, said she was ‘humiliated, disgusted and ashamed’ after two alleged attacks at Roache’s Haslingden homes when she was 15.

Another alleged victim, who claims she was indecently assaulted, told Preston Crown Court that Roache ‘was like an octopus’.

Roache, who has played Ken Barow in the ITV soap since 1960, denies two counts of rape and five of indecent assault.

During the fourth day of his trial, Roache’s defence barrister Louise Blackwell QC cross-examined the rape complainant via video-link about the circumstances of the two alleged rapes.

Referring to the complainant’s confusion during a police interview about her age at the time of the alleged crimes, Miss Blackwell said: “The reason why you have got it so badly wrong is because you are not telling the truth, you understand?”

The complainant, who initially told police she was ‘13 or 14’ at the time, replied: “I understand what you are saying.”

But later she added: “I have not forgotten anything about the main event, believe me.”

Asked what she did in the hours that followed the second alleged rape, the complainant 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.”

The witness said she now had problems with her short-term memory, but that doctors had confirmed medically that her long-term memory was fine.

She also told the court she suffered depression after the alleged rapes and was on anti-depressants between the age of 16 and 20.

Concluding the rape complainant’s evidence, Anne Whyte QC, defending, said: “It has been suggested to you that are not telling the truth, what do you say about that?”

The complainant replied: "It's ridiculous.”

Her son then gave evidence, recalling the first conversation they had about Jimmy Savile and Cyril Smith in 2012.

It was months later before the complainant told him that her allegations related to Roache.

“I was very angry,” he said. “She said, ‘He is not like Jimmy Savile. He is not a monster, he didn't beat me up, he didn't hurt me’.

“It made my blood boil because she was kind of defending him, if that makes sense. I told her she had to go to the police. She really didn't want to.”

The jury was then played a video recording of a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by Roache in the fictional Rovers Return pub at Granada Studios.

She told the interviewing female officer: “He was like an octopus. Hands everywhere.”

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