UK & World News

  • 5 February 2014, 18:43

William Roache Sex Trial: Jury Retires

The jury in the trial of Coronation Street actor William Roache has retired to consider its verdicts.

The 81-year-old, who plays Ken Barlow in the soap, is accused of assaulting five women when they were aged 16 or under.

Preston Crown Court heard the alleged offences took place between 1967 and 1972 at Granada Studios in Manchester, in his car or at properties he owned.

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

He told jurors the "principal question" was a "stark one" and asked them: "Are you sure 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," he said.

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

Roache, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, who was accompanied to court by his family, as he has been throughout his trial, 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.

Mr Holroyde, summing up Roache's response to the allegations, said the actor had described himself as a "very caring man" and told the court the allegations were "totally alien" to his character.

The prosecution claimed the actor was "sticking to his script" in lying and said he had the "motivation and the opportunity to behave improperly".

However, the defence described the trial as "nonsense" and said it had been haunted by the "spectre" of Jimmy Savile.

The trial continues.

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