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Ex-Tremeloes pop group members deny 1968 sex assault charge

Published 02/12/2015

Richard Westwood (left) and Leonard Hawkes, former members of the 1960s band The Tremeloes, arrive at Chester Magistrates' Court
Richard Westwood (left) and Leonard Hawkes, former members of the 1960s band The Tremeloes, arrive at Chester Magistrates' Court

Two members of 1960s pop group The Tremeloes have denied indecently assaulting a 15-year-old girl.

Leonard "Chip" Hawkes, 70, and Richard Westwood, 72, both pleaded not guilty as the charge was put to them as they stood in the dock during a brief, six minute hearing at Chester Magistrates' Court.

Rob Youds, prosecuting, outlining the case, said the complainant, a girl aged 15 at the time, was allegedly sexually assaulted in a hotel room in Chester after attending a pop concert in the city, sometime between April 1 and April 30, 1968.

At the time of the alleged assault The Tremeloes were at the height of their fame.

Formed in Dagenham, Essex, in 1958, the group had ten top 10 hits in the 1960s. Westwood sang lead vocals on 1967 number one single Silence Is Golden but retired three years ago.

Hawkes, who is the father of 90s pop star Chesney, still performs in the current line-up.

Westwood, who came into court carrying a Tesco shopping bag, told magistrates: "I'm sorry. I'm a little bit deaf," when asked to give his name and address, and moved to the front of the dock, cupping his ear as the charge was put to him.

Both defendants answered, "not guilty" to the single count of indecent assault on the same complainant.

Chair of the bench, Eric Hodgson, sent the case for a further hearing in the New Year at the city's crown court.

Westwood, of Ellis Road, Crowthorne, Berks, and Hawkes, of The Herons, Laleham Reach, Chertsey, were both granted unconditional bail.

They are next due to appear at Chester Crown Court on April 5.

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