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Roache cleared of all charges

Date published: 06 February 2014

Coronation Street star William Roache has been cleared of sexually abusing five youngsters.

Roache was found not guilty by a jury of two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault following a four week trial at Preston Crown Court.

The 81-year-old actor, who has played Ken Barlow for over 50 years, was said to have used his fame to exploit the starstruck girls, aged 16 and under, between the mid-60s and early 70s.

Roache told the jury he had no knowledge of any of the women and the alleged abuse simply did not happen.

Roache said he was "astounded" and "horrified" at his arrest on suspicion of rape at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, on May 1 last year.

Louise Blackwell QC, defending, said the case against her client was "nonsense", with the trial haunted by the "spectre" of Jimmy Savile.

It wasn’t credible, the jury was told, that the "perfect gentleman" and "father figure" witnesses described had been a "sexual predator".

The "inconsistencies and contradictions" of each complainant's "story" were picked apart under cross-examination.

The prosecution offered no evidence on one of two counts of indecent assault, relating to one complainant, as she had "no actual memory of the episode".

The involvement of the press was also highlighted. The husband of one complainant contacted papers before the police - which "coloured" their allegations, Miss Blackwell said.

The jury spent almost six hours before coming back into court to deliver its verdicts at 11.19am today.

Roache, hands by his side, made no reaction as he was cleared of all charges, but the months and weeks of strain overcame his family in the public gallery.

Youngest son James dissolved into tears with a hand over his face, his brother Linus also wiped away tears and Roache's youngest daughter Verity was hugged before she also began to weep.

One of Roache's minders sprung to his feet and shouted "Yes!" and began to clap before the judge told him to be quiet.

Comments

This case highlights so many inequalities and unfairness in our legal process.
He & Michael Le Vell before him have had their lives lad bare to public scrutiny while the accusers remain anonymous.
I addition both have run up enormous legal bills which they will not be reimbursed for, and this is grossly immoral.
The state should not have the power to ruin someone by false allegation, and should place both parties back where they were before the case was brought - that's equal treatment !

Lets hope he sues them all for defamation of character . There seems to be to many people crying historical abuse with no proof for it all to be true , they should be named and shamed after the court case .The accused is tarred forever with the insinuations but the accusers are free to remain anonymous which is wrong , all parties should be named .Someone could come forward with proof that the accuser is known for crying wolf and could save a lot of unnecessary distress .

He wont be remembered as Ken Barlow, the longest serving soap star in the world, he will be remembered for having child sex abuse and rape charges against him, his reputation even though found NOT GUILTY has been ruined. Naming people before being found guilty needs to be addressed.

Good result I am glad he got off. Pathetic waste of taxpayers money by CPS pursuing this.

William Roache has been found not guilty in a court of law and yet will suffer the the smear of "once mud is thrown, some of it, no matter how much will remain with him for the rest of his life. What of his accusers who will waltz off into anonymity without a stain on their characters which rubs salt into the wound.

Totally agree! Mud sticks and these so called women should be named and shamed. Women can find out nowadays if a prospective new partner has a history of violence so why can’t men find out if prospective partners have a history of false allegations? The whole thing stinks.

these crimes are very difficult to prove when they are committed a day before never mind fifty years after. the chances of a guilty verdict was always going to be slim. what I don't understand is why someone would make this stuff up

 

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