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Roache's Fame 'Massaged His Sexual Ego'
The jury in the trial of Coronation Street actor William Roache has been told to put aside views on him as an "enduringly popular" actor and judge the facts of the case.
The 81-year-old denies two counts of rape and four indecent assaults dating back to the 1960s.
In the closing stages of the trial at Preston Crown Court, the prosecution told the jury they were judging Roache as he was 40 years ago.
Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said: "We are here to judge William Roache as he was in the 1960s, when he was a young man with looks, fame. An actor.
"Who has the most to lose here? Who is most used to rehearsing what he has to say and sticking to the script. Is it (the victims) or is it the actor Mr Roache?
"A man who has spent his whole working life learning lines and delivering them for public consumption?
"Is it a remarkable coincidence that different women, who didn't know each other, from different parts of the country would come here to Preston and make these allegations?"
Five alleged victims have given evidence during the trial. During his evidence, Mr Roache said he had "no memory" of any of the women.
"He says there was no opportunity to be alone with them. That they had not just made up some slap-and-tickle offence, but they had made up all the circumstances around meeting him at all," said Ms Whyte.
Mr Roache's fame as an actor in the 1960s had "massaged his sexual ego", she said.
"His work and his stardom gave rise, literally, to his exposure to these young girls and his celebrity led to this happening," she added.
Several high profile Coronation Street actors have been called as character witnesses.
Anne Kirkbride, who plays Deidre Barlow in the ITV1 soap, described her on-screen husband as "the perfect gentleman".
Helen Worth, better known as Gayle McIntyre, said Mr Roache was a "father figure" to many of the cast.
The trial continues.
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