Ex-Street star ‘gained trust then abused boy’

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 Gateacre in Liverpool, is best known for his role as Frank Foster in the ITV soap.

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Lancel, who has denied 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.

The charges relate to one male victim and the offending allegedly took place between 1993 and 1994 when the boy was 14 and 15.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, said the abuse started when the actor visited a theatre group in his home town of Southport, where he got to know the victim.

She said the boy was “starstruck” by Lancel, who had just landed a role in the television series Cardiac Arrest.

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The court heard Lancel would “compliment” the boy, telling him he had talent and “could go places”.

The actor, then 23, then allegedly started taking the teenager for coffees. That progressed to them going back to his house, where 
the offending was said to have started.

Miss Whittlestone said: “The prosecution case is that 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.”

Lancel denies that any sexual contact ever took place and instead says he acted as a “sort of mentor” to the boy.

The trial continues.