Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Mayor event hit by sex case arrests

Bill Roache had been due to speak at the mayor-making event for Clitheroe Town Council
Bill Roache had been due to speak at the mayor-making event for Clitheroe Town Council

Coronation Street actor Bill Roache and Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans both had to withdraw from the same mayor-making ceremony following their separate arrests over alleged sex offences.

Kevin Horkin, mayor elect of Clitheroe Town Council, asked his soap star friend to attend the function before Roache was detained by police on May 1, reported the Lancashire Telegraph.

Roache, 81, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 programme since its launch, pulled out of the engagement after he was charged with two counts of rape on a 15-year-old girl in 1967.

Tory Ribble Valley MP Mr Evans then reportedly stepped in to make the traditional speech at the civic event in Lancashire.

He too was forced to step down after his own arrest at the weekend over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Mr Evans, 55, who has represented the constituency since 1992, was arrested on suspicion of raping one man and sexually assaulting another between July 2009 and March this year.

Following several hours of questioning by detectives at Preston Police Station, he was released on bail to June 19.

The MP insists the claims are "completely false".

Roache "strenuously denies" the allegations against him and is due to appear at Preston Magistrates' Court on May 14.

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