Where has all the time gone? This child star has just turned 50! Who can forget her in Bugsy Malone?
Le Vell 'rape' victim denies lying
Michael Le Vell is on trial for a series of child sex offence
A girl who claims Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell raped her made the allegations after she heard a motivational speech from a rape victim.
Le Vell, 48, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
The alleged victim broke down in tears on the first day of the trial at Manchester Crown Court, as she gave evidence from behind a screen to protect her identity.
But Alisdair Williamson, defending Le Vell, has questioned the girl's story and motivations, and accused her of lying. Mr Williamson said the witness had been to an "inspirational self-help" conference and at this event she heard a motivational speech from a woman who was raped at a young age and then went on to rebuild her life and become a success.
He put it to the witness that when she returned she told family: "It's all right, I'm part of a special group now." The witness said: "I don't remember saying that."
Mr Williamson told the court that she seemed "so excited" about it that a family member thought her behaviour was "weird". The witness said she did not think she had got excited.
Mr Williamson said: "Is that what some of this is about? You heard this lady talking about how she was raped when she was very young and how she went on and became a model? You want to become an actress or a dancer, is that right?"
She replied: "I wanted to, I don't any more."
During further questions from Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, the girl said she could not remember seeing the motivational speech from the rape victim.
The jury heard that, after being first interviewed by police, the girl did not mention that Le Vell had allegedly raped her orally. She only volunteered the information to police about the oral rapes in March 2012, after the Crown Prosecution Service had decided to drop the case in December 2011. And she only mentioned a further alleged rape earlier this year after an "additional memory", the court heard.
Breaking down in tears, the witness told the jury: "I had a lot more flashbacks. I was very confused. Because what he did to me was so wrong. I was so young."
Concluding the girl's evidence in the witness box, Ms Laws asked: "Have you some sort of vendetta, any reason to hate Michael Le Vell or bring him down and cause him all of this?" "No," the girl replied.
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