UK & World News

  • 22 January 2014, 23:49

William Roache 'Not Attracted To Young Girls'

The actor William Roache told police that it was against his nature to "force himself sexually" upon anyone, a court has heard.

The Coronation Street star, who faces two charges of rape and five of indecent assault, "absolutely denied" having met any of the alleged victims and said that he was not sexually attracted to young girls.

His trial has heard that he was arrested and cautioned at home in Cheshire in May 2013 and was "visibly shocked" by the allegations.

Roache told a detective that he was "absolutely surprised and amazed" by what had been claimed.

The jury at Preston Crown Court was told that the actor was arrested and cautioned before being taken to a police station for questioning.

In response to the claims, he said: "I think that I am a very sensitive and caring person. I have always respected the rights of other people. I would not dream of forcing myself sexually on another person."

The soap star is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in his bungalow in Lancashire in 1967 and raping her again in a nearby cottage the same year.

Asked why he thought the woman had made the allegation, he said: "The climate of what is happening at the moment with people coming forward. I don't know what her motivation is.

"I can only surmise there is hope of selling an article to a paper for a moment of fame."

He went on to say: "I have plenty of attractive and wonderful partners. I love women and love making love to women but it has to be with full co-operation and youngsters have no attraction to me at all.

"These allegations are not nice, not pleasant and I don't know why they have come forward."

Roache was shown photographs by the police of his accusers as girls and said that he did not recognise any of them, that he would not have invited young girls into his dressing room or given them lifts in his Rolls-Royce.

The actor has pleaded not guilty to the seven charges against him.

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CORRECTION:On the 21st of January 2014 Sky News reported that the actor William Roache allegedly offered sweets as part of the "grooming process" of a girl. This was inaccurate. The evidence presented in court related to another actor. We apologise unreservedly for this error.

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