Lancel accuser in tears at ‘malicious lie’ claim

The dancer who claims ex Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel sexually abused him when he was a schoolboy broke down in tears in court after he was accused of making up a ‘malicious lie’.

Lancel – best known for his role as Frank Foster in the ITV soap – was charged last November under his real name Andrew Watkinson.

The 42-year-old actor has pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault of a child under the age of 16 and is on trial at Liverpool Crown Court. The charges relate to one male victim and the offending allegedly took place between 1993 and 1994 when he was aged 14 and 15.

His accuser, now aged 34, was cross examined by Andrew Menary QC, defending. The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claims he was aged just 14 and was ‘star-struck’ by Lancel when the abuse began. He says the actor targeted him when he was performing in a production at a theatre group in Southport and would take him out for coffees before indecently assaulting him on numerous occasions over the next three years.

But Mr Menary said: “There was never any abuse at any time was there? For whatever reason you have made up what is a malicious lie about him.”

The man repeated: “That’s completely not true.”

The barrister then went on to point out inconsistencies in the accounts the man had given to the police and to his counsellors. Mr Menary went on to accuse the man of telling some people the abuse happened when he was 13, and not 14.

“I might have said to somebody in the past it began when I was 13,” he said.

He said it had taken him a long time to ‘come to terms with’ and began to cry.

Judge Clement Goldstone QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, then interjected and asked the man if it was true that he told people he was 13 and not 14 because he was embarrassed that he had not done anything about the alleged abuse and that he could ‘justify’ it more if he told people he was 13.

The man nodded and then broke down, covering his face and looking away from the dock.