Andrew LancelFormer Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today, as his trial for child sex offences gets underway.

The court heard how Lancel “used his status” in order to groom his alleged victim – at the time a 14-year-old boy between 1993 and 1994, and that the abuse began after Lancel started visiting the boy’s home for coffee, reports BBC News.

Lancel, 42, whose real name is Andrew Watkinson, denies six counts of indecent assault of a child.

Acting for the prosecution, Kim Whittlestone explained that Lancel initially met the boy at a Merseyside theatre group, and that the victim felt “embarrassed and confused” by Lancel’s subsequent advances.

However, Lancel denies that his relationship with the boy became sexual, insisting that he only acted as a “sort of mentor” to him.

More sexual contact is said to have taken place between Lancel and his victim when the latter was 20 years old.

Whittlestone said: “He says that this happened as he felt belittled by the defendant and still felt, despite his age of 20 years and the defendant being 29 years of age,  that he couldn’t say no.”

The victim was encouraged to report Lancel to the police after a girlfriend told him that he needed help.  The jury was shown police interviews with the victim, who claims that his life went “off the rails” following the assault.

The five-day trial continues tomorrow.

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