Agony ends for troubled soap star
Date published: 11 September 2013
Joyful “Coronation Street” actor Michael Le Vell said he was looking forward to a drink after he was cleared of child abuse charges.
The 48 year old mouthed the words “thank you” to the jury of eight women and four men who dismissed a string of allegations made by his accuser, who claimed she had been raped and abused while a young girl.
Le Vell kept his emotions in check as his family members in the public gallery wept, as one by one, not guilty verdicts on the 12 counts were delivered - but the strain of the seven–day trial was apparent as he appeared drained when he left the dock.
Jurors took just under five hours to reach their verdicts at Manchester Crown Court after they were told by the judge yesterday that their assessment of Le Vell’s accuser was “critical”.
Le Vell, on trial under his real name of Michael Turner, had denied five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child, and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
He held his head up as the male foreman gave the verdicts to the court clerk. On the fourth count of not guilty, he nodded his head in agreement with them.
His brother and sisters, who sat in the public gallery, were in tears as the verdicts were delivered.
Le Vell looked round in confusion before he left the dock and was warmly hugged by a supporter.
Cries of relief were then heard as he left the courtroom a free man, with his family members.
As he walked out of court to a media scrum and thanked his family, his legal team and his employers, ITV, before he said with a smile: “And I might go have a drink now.”
One of his supporters and close friend, former “Coronation Street” star Nigel Pivaro, who played Terry Duckworth, said: “He has suffered two years of hell and probably, also due to his high profile, far more than most.
“It has been a long journey for him. Now the jury has spoken, he can pick up his career and his life.”
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