A FORMER Coronation Street actor “used his status” to “flatter and gain the trust” of a 14-year-old boy whom he went on to indecently assault on a number of occasions, a court heard yesterday.
Andrew Lancel, 42, was charged last November under his real name, Andrew Watkinson. The actor, from Liverpool, is best known for his role as Frank Foster in the ITV soap.
Lancel, who has pleaded not guilty to six counts of indecent assault of a child under the age of 16, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for the first day of his trial, where the case against him was outlined by Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting.
The charges relate to one victim and the offending allegedly took place between 1993 and 1994 when he was 14 and 15.
Miss Whittlestone said the abuse started when the actor visited a theatre group in his home town of Southport, Merseyside.
She said the boy was “starstruck” by Lancel, who had just landed a role in the television series Cardiac Arrest. The court heard that Lancel would “compliment” the boy, telling him he had talent and “could go places”.
The actor, then aged 23, allegedly took the teenager for coffees. That progressed to visiting his house, where the alleged offending was said to have started.
Miss Whittlestone said: “The defendant used his status as an actor at that time to flatter and gain the trust of the victim.
“He knew he was under the age of consent but, despite that, would progress their relationship and made it sexual – something that he knew… was wrong.”
Lancel denies that any sexual contact ever took place.