Belfast Telegraph

Le Vell 'raped girl holding teddy'

A girl who claims Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell raped her as she clutched a teddy bear has broken down in tears in the witness box as she told of the abuse.

The actor, 48, who plays Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges - 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.

Le Vell, on trial at Manchester Crown Court under his real name Michael Turner, denies the offences. The actor leant forward in his seat, grimacing, closing his eyes and repeatedly shaking his head as the girl gave evidence from behind a screen.

The witness, whose identity cannot be made public, broke down in tears minutes after beginning, sobbing throughout.

His alleged victim told the court when asked about the alleged abuse: "I was very scared because it didn't feel right. It felt like I wasn't in my body at the time and I was just watching it."

The witness told the jury that during one of the alleged rapes Le Vell told her she "was safe and that he was just getting rid of all the evil and bad that was inside me".

She said the assault was "painful" and that during it "he stopped me speaking by putting one of my favourite teddy bears over my mouth. I could still breath but I couldn't say anything."

She said the alleged attacks made her feel "disgusting" and that the experiences "sort of froze" her body and that she did not know what was happening to her.

Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, began the opening address, telling the jury Le Vell was a "heavy drinker".

Ms Laws said Le Vell would speak to another adult, who cannot be named for legal reasons, about his problems and referred to a "secret" he had and said the adult would "not believe what was inside his head". The prosecutor added: "On another occasion he stated that he was 'unforgivable' but would not say what he had done."

Le Vell was initially arrested in September 2011, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed. But after a review of the evidence Le Vell was re-arrested and charged in February 2013.

ITV has said Le Vell will not be appearing in any further episodes of the soap pending the outcome of legal proceedings. The trial continues.

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