Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Michael Le Vell denies sex charges

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has pleaded not guilty to alleged child sex offences
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has pleaded not guilty to alleged child sex offences

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has appeared in court accused of raping a young girl.

The actor stood in the dock at Manchester Crown Court as the charges were read out to him before the start of his trial.

Le Vell, 48, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

A slightly different indictment, or list of charges, had been drawn up after a previous hearing, when Le Vell pleaded not guilty to 19 charges.

Before the trial began the new indictment had to be put to Le Vell.

The actor, who is charged under his real name of Michael Turner, was asked to stand in the dock. He shook his head and repeated "not guilty" in a strong voice twelve times to each charge.

The charges span a period of nine years.

Le Vell arrived at Manchester Crown Court wearing a light grey suit and was met by large group of photographers, TV crews and reporters. Inside there were more than 20 reporters crammed into the press benches in court 3. The actor, who was with his legal team and a minder, said "Good morning" to the media as he arrived at court.

Le Vell, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, is one of TV's most famous faces after playing Kevin Webster for the past 30 years. ITV has said he will not be appearing in any further episodes of the soap pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

His trial before Judge Michael Henshell is scheduled to last around two weeks.

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