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Tremeloes pair to face trial accused of indecently assaulting girl in 1960s

Published 05/04/2016

Richard Westwood, left, and Leonard Hawkes deny indecently assaulting a girl in 1968
Richard Westwood, left, and Leonard Hawkes deny indecently assaulting a girl in 1968

A trial date has been set for two members of 1960s pop group The Tremeloes who have appeared in court to formally deny indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl in the 1960s following a gig.

Leonard 'Chip' Hawkes, 70, and Richard Westwood, 72, both appeared via a live videolink from Reading Crown Court at the hearing held at Chester Crown Court.

A trial date has been set for February 6 2017 after they each pleaded not guilty to indecent assault when they were arraigned on the indictment.

The complainant, a girl aged 15 at the time, claims she was assaulted in a hotel room in Chester after attending a pop concert in the city, sometime between April 1 and April 30 1968.

Judge Nigel Woodward said: "As I understand, the defendants were members of a popular music group in the 1960s. A suggestion from the indictment is they individually sexually assaulted (the complainant), a 15-year-old girl who had attended the venue where they were performing, this later occurred at a hotel."

Hawkes, of The Herons, Laleham Reach, Chertsey, who is the father of Nineties pop star Chesney, still performs in the current line-up and appeared on the link wearing a light-coloured top.

He was flanked by Westwood, of Ellis Road, Crowthorne, Berkshire, wearing a black T-shirt and sipping water from a bottle.

Westwood, who sang lead vocals on 1967 number one single Silence Is Golden, retired three years ago.

Both listened intently, sat up close to the camera.

For Hawkes, barrister Liam Walker told the hearing: "Both defendants are suffering from acute illnesses. Mr Hawkes is due to undergo chemotherapy in November. He is going to need breaks."

He added that his client was currently under hospital care for cancer and appeared from Reading because "of his ill health" and inability to travel long distances.

Mr Walker added that an application would be made to have the venue of the trial moved.

The judge agreed to special measures being put in place for the complainant.

Judge Woodward told the two defendants: "This case will be heard, if it is heard here, on February 6 2017, however your advocates have informed me they are going to apply for the case as a whole to be moved near to where you live, so that date could change.

"As matters stand at the moment the trial will take place on February 6 2017 at this court. In the meantime you are both bailed unconditionally."

It is expected to last around four days and is listed to be heard at Chester Crown Court.

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