Michael Le Vell trial: 'Rape victim threatened with death'

There was a large media presence when Michael Le Vell arrived at court

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell told his rape victim it was their "little secret" and she would "die" if she told anyone, a court has heard.

Mr Le Vell, 48, who appeared under his real name Michael Turner, is facing 12 charges, including five of rape.

The counts relate to one girl, who cannot be named, who was abused from the age of six, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Mr Le Vell, of Hale, Greater Manchester, has denied all the charges.

He also faces three counts of indecent assault, two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity and two of sexual activity with a child.

'Very scared'

The offences are said to have happened between 2001 and 2010.

Michael Le Vell in court The prosecution told the court Michael Le Vell regularly abused the girl

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the girl told the jury of how Mr Le Vell had put a teddy bear over her mouth to stop her making noise during one rape.

She said he had told her she "was safe and that he was just getting rid of all the evil and bad that was inside me".

Asked about the abuse, she said she had been "very scared because it didn't feel right".

"It felt like I wasn't in my body at the time and I was just watching it," she said.

She added he had "smelled really bad" during several of the attacks and had "stunk of alcohol and cigarettes".

Earlier, prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC told the jury that "once the abuse began, it continued regularly" and the girl had been "too frightened" to stop Mr Le Vell.

'Heavy drinker'

She said the victim had talked to no-one but her toys about what happened, after Mr Le Vell had said it was "our little secret [and] no-one needs to know otherwise you'll be taken, you'll die and the evil will come over you".

The girl had suffered years of nightmares because of the abuse and had wet the bed until she was 12, Ms Laws explained.

She added that when the girl had complained of soreness in her genital area, it had been dismissed by her doctor as the result of "drinking too much orange juice".

Ms Laws stressed to jury members they should not confuse Mr Le Vell with his on-screen role of Kevin Webster, which he has played for 30 years.

"The man on trial is Michael Turner, not the character he plays," she said.

She added he was "a heavy drinker and went out drinking most nights".

The case continues.

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