UK & World News

  • 3 February 2014, 20:59

William Roache Jury Warned Over Emotions

Jurors in the trial of Coronation Street actor William Roache have been warned by a judge that emotion "must play no part" in their decision.

Summing up the case before the jury is sent out to consider its verdicts, Mr Justice Holroyde said although the allegations may have "aroused emotion ... sympathy or anger", a "cool-headed appraisal of all the evidence" is required.

He told the jury at Preston Crown Court "the principal question" was a "stark one", asking them: "Are you sure that Roache committed the sexual offences the complainants in each of the charges say he did?"

"If the answer is yes, you must find Roache guilty. If the answer is no, you must find him not guilty."

The trial has heard from five women who claim Roache assaulted them when they were 16 or under.

The alleged offences took place between 1967 and 1972 at Granada Studios in Manchester, in his car or at properties he owned.

The 81-year-old, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, who plays Ken Barlow in Coronation Street, denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

He claims he has no knowledge of any of the women he is supposed to have assaulted.

His defence described the accusations against him as "nonsense" and said there were "many deeply and worrying consistencies in (the alleged victims') stories".

The judge went through the evidence on each charge being faced by Roache.

He is alleged to have raped one woman at his then bungalow in Lancashire and to have raped her again in an adjoining cottage he owned.

Three of the indecent assaults were said to have taken place inside Granada Studios - in the gents toilets, ladies toilets and a dressing room - while the fourth is alleged to have happened in his Rolls-Royce when he was said to have given a lift home to a complainant.

Mr Justice Holroyde will finish summing up the case on Tuesday and will then send out the jury to start its deliberations.

He told them: "When that happens you must take as much time as you want."

The trial continues.

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