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By Nick Owens Michael Le Vell pleads for his passport back for holiday from strain of child sex trial

Published August 11, 2013 by misty534

Friends of the Coronation Street star fear he is spending too much time in the pub as the strain takes its toll.

Michael Le Vell in the lake district this week

Tormented actor Michael Le Vell has pleaded to get his passport back so he can go on holiday before his child sex trial.

Friends of the Coronation Street star fear he is spending too much time in the pub as the strain takes its toll.

Now Le Vell – who briefly split from lover Blanca Fouche last week – has told pals how he wants a holiday to ensure he is at his best when he appears at Manchester Crown Court on September 2.

The Kevin Webster actor had to surrender his passport under bail conditions set after he was charged with 19 sex offences.

Le Vell, 48, who has not filmed any scenes since then, went back to court via his solicitors this week to ask for it back.

A judge will decide if he can have it back after he promised he could provide an address abroad.

The star said he was desperate for a holiday to put the stress of the past few months behind him.

“I need to get away and get my head straight,” Le Vell told a friend.

“I want to turn up at court in the best condition possible and be ready to clear my name.

“Sitting at home and not being able to go into work on the Street is really difficult to handle.”

But Blanca, 31, who Le Vell has been dating for two months, will not join him abroad.

The Chilean mother of four does not have the right travel documents at the moment.

The pair broke up last week after he texted her saying he didn’t think things were working.

But they made up and spent a night out together in Hale, Greater Manchester on Wednesday.

A source said: “Michael’s head is all over the place.

“There’s been times when he wants to be on his own or down the pub with mates and it has had an effect on things with Blanca.

“But she has been brilliant for him and has offered to be at his side in court if he wants.”

Le Vell faces 19 charges of rape, indecent assault and sexual ­activity with a child.

Corrie bosses have promised him a new contract worth £250,000 a year if he is cleared.

by Nick Owens

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell set for new £250k contract if he is cleared of child sex offences

Published July 26, 2013 by misty534

15219235_Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell arrives at Manchester Crown Court accused of child-1776274

LE VELL, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, faces 19 charges which include rape and indecent assault.

CORRIE bosses will offer Michael Le Vell a year-long £250,000 contract if he is found not guilty of child sex offences at his trial in September.

The ITV soap have vowed to stand by their star, who plays mechanic Kevin Webster, since he was charged in February.

The contract offer means he could return as soon as November if he is cleared of 19 charges, which include rape and indecent assault.

The actor, real name Michael Turner, has vowed to prove his innocence at Manchester Crown Court. He has been in regular touch with Street producers Kieron Roberts and Stephen Blackburn since being charged.

The storyline has Kevin in Germany looking after his sick dad, meaning he can make a quick return.

Last night a friend said the bumper 12-month deal had left the star delighted.

The pal added: “Michael has been through two years of hell and he still has a job to clear his name.

“That remains his main focus. He is taking nothing for granted. He has not been suspended from work so the news of the contract, assuming he is cleared in September, means he can look forward to returning to the job he has loved and dedicated himself to for 30 years.

“It means he can start to put his life back together.”

A show source said: “We would love to have Michael back on the Street. We all have our fingers crossed.”

Le Vell and ITV refused to comment last night.

The dad-of-two is divorced from his actress wife Janette Beverley. He is now with Chilean Blanca Fouche.

 

The Daily Record

Former Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel cleared of child sex charges

Published June 10, 2013 by misty534

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Former Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel has left court a free man and hand in hand with his wife after being cleared of child sex charges.

The 42-year-old, who played Frank Foster in the popular soap, was found not guilty of four counts of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy, dating back to 1994.

Lancel, who also had parts in Casualty and Heartbeat, was said to have “used his status” to “flatter and gain the trust” of his alleged victim who broke down in tears as he told the jury he was sexually abused by the defendant while at a theatre group.

Lancel denied any sexual activity took place and the claims were said by his barrister Andrew Menary QC to be “malicious lies”.

Father of one Lancel was cleared by the jury, which was out for just 29 minutes, following a week-long trial.

Lancel bit his lip and looked to the ceiling as his wife Louise burst into tears in the public gallery when the unanimous not guilty verdicts were delivered at Liverpool Crown Court.

Judge Clement Goldstone, the Recorder of Liverpool, thanked the jurors who left the courtroom before the defendant left the dock.

The judge, speaking to Mr Menary, said: “The defendant was acquitted on the evidence and rightly so, but it is important that the complainant, who is clearly scarred by an experience, should understand that the jury verdict does not necessarily involve rejection of his account of a sexual encounter or encounters with the defendant.

“It is a statement that the prosecution have failed to make the jury sure that abuse of the type alleged occurred during the period covered by the indictment and in particular before the complainant’s 16th birthday, now more than 18 years ago.”

Minutes later Lancel walked out of court into blazing sunshine, smiling and holding the hand of his wife. He posed for photographers crowded around him but declined to comment on the case.

Lancel’s solicitor Stuart Nolan read a short statement on behalf of the actor outside court. It read: “Andrew would like to thank his family and friends and all parties for their support and prayers. He just wants to spend time with his family.”

The actor, from Gateacre in Liverpool, was charged in November under his real name Andrew Watkinson. The charges related to one male and the offending allegedly took place between Februay and December 1994.

It was claimed that abuse started when the actor visited a theatre group in his home town of Southport, Merseyside, where he got to know the victim. The boy was said to be “starstruck” by Lancel, then aged 23, who had just landed a role in the television series Cardiac Arrest.

The jury heard the actor allegedly started taking the teenager for coffee then back to his house where the alleged offending was said to have started.

The court was told that the complainant felt he could not tell the defendant to stop because he was “embarrassed and confused” as Lancel was an adult and a friend.

The prosecution alleged the sexual assaults, including oral sex and sexual touching, were repeated over the course of 1994.

But under cross-examination the claims by Lancel’s alleged victim, now aged 34 and a professional ballet dancer, were branded fiction by the defendant’s lawyer.

Mr Menary said for “whatever reason” the claims were malicious lies and no abuse occurred.

The barrister went on to point out inconsistencies in the accounts he gave to police and to his counsellors and suggested he was jealous of Lancel’s success and profile, while he was struggling with his own career.

The jury also heard he continued his friendship with the defendant long after the alleged abuse, even contacting other friends on Facebook to get his mobile phone number.

The actor originally faced six counts of indecent assault but Judge Goldstone earlier ordered the jury to find the defendant not guilty of two of the counts as the victim had agreed while he was being cross-examined that he could not definitely say that some of the allegations happened before his 15th birthday.

Lancel made 137 appearances in Coronation Street as Frank Foster and 273 in The Bill as Detective Inspector Neil Manson.

 

London Evening Standard

Bill Roache charged with sexually assaulting four girls in 1960s

Published June 6, 2013 by misty534

Former Coronation Street star faces trial over accusations he sexually molested girls aged 11 – 16

William Roache, 81, who has been charged with five historic offences of indecent assault.

Coronation Street actor William Roache has been charged with five indecent assaults on four girls between 1965 and 1968.

Roache, 81, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap, is accused of sexually assaulting the girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16, the Crown Prosecution Service said on Thursday night.

Nazir Afzal, the chief crown prosecutor for the north-west, said in a statement: “We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire police in relation to recent allegations from four complainants that William Roache indecently assaulted them in the 1960s.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with five offences of indecent assault relating to four girls who were aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time that the alleged offences happened.

“We have been reviewing evidence and providing early investigative advice to Lancashire Police regarding these allegations, which were made to police after Mr Roache was charged with two offences of rape on 1 May 2013.

“This decision was taken in accordance with the code for crown prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on sexual offences.

“Mr Roache has a right to a fair trial and it is therefore very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.”

Roache has been bailed and will appear at Preston magistrates court on 7 June, the CPS said. The fresh charges are in addition to the two counts of rape Roache faced last month.

In May, Roache said he was “astounded and deeply horrified” after being charged with two counts of rape involving a 15-year-old girl in 1967. He said he intended to fight the claims in court.

Roache is the longest-serving cast member on Coronation Street but was dropped from show last month. He appeared in the soap’s first episode on 9 December, 1960, and has a Guinness World Records award for being the world’s longest-serving soap actor.

 

 

the guardian online

New Corrie paedo ‘victim’ speaks

Published May 18, 2013 by misty534

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A FOURTH Corrie star accused of being a paedo was last night said to have preyed on a girl of 12 hunting autographs at the show’s TV studios.

The revelation he faces a police quiz stunned the soap — already rocked by allegations against Bill Roache, Michael Le Vell and Andrew Lancel.

The latest alleged victim confided in a friend: “I didn’t realise what was going on.” The chum told The Sun: “She used to go to the studios to get autographs. It was a real highlight when the stars stood and talked to you. Sometimes they invited the girls into the studios.”

The famous actor is no longer in the ITV1 soap but his long-running character was a household name.

His alleged indecent assault on the wide-eyed schoolgirl is said to have happened in the late 1960s — and her continuing trauma is so severe she even now involuntarily writes his name on scraps of paper.

Now in her mid 50s, the woman has told cops the star gave her lifts home after befriending her.

One of her allegations is that he did something “very inappropriate” to her within the studio complex in Manchester.

She was interviewed for more than six hours on Wednesday by police in Devon, The Sun can reveal.

The star, who we cannot name for legal reasons, is now being investigated by Lancashire Police — the force that probed Ken Barlow actor Roache, 81. He is accused of twice raping a girl of 15 in 1967. Last week a crown court date was set for next month. Roache strenuously denies the claims.

June will also see Lancel, 42 — scheming Frank Foster in the soap — face trial accused of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 15. He has pleaded not guilty to six counts.

Last night Lancashire Police refused to comment.

By GUY PATRICK, ALEX WEST and ANDREW CHAMBERLAIN

Michael Le Vell told he DOES have a future in Coronation Street if cleared of child sex charges

Published March 31, 2013 by misty534

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In an emotional meeting, producers Kieran Roberts and Steve Blackburn hugged Michael and told him they would be supporting him

 

Michael Le Vell has met Corrie bosses to discuss major new plotlines should he return to the cobbles.

Michael, 48, who has played the Street’s mechanic Kevin Webster for more than 30 years, was told that he does have a future on the ITV1 soap if cleared of child sex charges.

In an emotional meeting, producers Kieran Roberts and Steve Blackburn hugged Michael and told him they would be supporting him.

The bosses expressed their dismay at incorrect claims that the actor had been suspended from Coronation Street over his forthcoming court ­appearance.

They also revealed they have penned a major new storyline involving his character Kevin if he does walk free after his trial.

An ITV source said: “The producers met with Michael because they were concerned by the suggestion he had been cast aside by the show.

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead they told Michael, ‘You’ve not been sacked and you’ve not been suspended and we hope to see you back soon’. They also explained to him the details of a big new plot they hope Michael will be a part of in future.”

Our source added: “Michael has had a horrific few months so to hear that was finally some good news.

“He really misses the day-to-day life of being on Corrie. Afterwards Michael said to them, ‘You could have told me all this over the phone’.

“But Steven and Kieran explained they wanted to explain it to him face to face. Then the three of them had a big man hug. It was an emotional moment for all involved.”

Michael – photographed walking on a cobbled street close to his home in Hale, South Manchester, this week – last appeared on the show on February 8.

Close to 10 million viewers saw his character Kevin lie to police in front of his former wife Sally about Tyrone Dobbs, whose baby he secretly helped “abduct”.

It has been reported that a future episode will see Sally tell her neighbours that he has had to leave Weatherfield to care for his father Bill, played by Peter Armitage, who has fallen ill.

This would leave the door open for Michael to return to the show if he is cleared of the offences.

News of Michael’s meeting with ­Corrie bosses comes two weeks after he ­reappeared in court to learn he will stand trial in September. He faces 19 child sex allegations including rape, indecent assault and sexual activity with a child, after a Crown Prosecution Service review of charges against him that had ­previously been dropped through lack of evidence.

Even though Michael now faces a long wait to go to court he has told friends he is “smiling through” and has vowed to clear his name.

The alleged offences all took place between 2001 and 2010. He split from his wife Janette Beverley last year.

He told one friend: “I am fine. I am just living my life and getting on with things the best I can.

“Yes I go to the pub but that’s where my mates are where I can just relax and watch the football.

“And, yes, I go to the bookies but I normally just pop in there for a cup of tea and a chat with the lads. I’ve read that I am hiding away and living on a diet of beans on toast. That’s rubbish. I am just getting on with things and ­trying to live my life the best I can.”

The source added: “Michael says he’s determined not to hide himself away over the next few months. He’s getting a lot of support from his friends – but he’s in quite a good frame of mind.

“He finds it quite amusing when people say he spends all his time sitting in the bookies.

“Truth is, he does pop in from time to time, but more often than not it’s for a cup of tea. He’s really good friends with some of the people who run it.”

His sister Glenis Gill spoke out in support of the Corrie favourite last month.

She said: “The whole thing came out of the blue and left Michael really shocked. It is a really tough time for him and he will be glad when this is all over. But he is bearing up OK.”

Michael was first arrested in September 2011 after the girl, now a teenager, claimed he had sexually assaulted her from the age of six.

Three months later prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence and the charges were dropped.

Then came the CPS review which revived the allegations of child sex.

In a statement Michael has vowed that he would “vigorously” fight the allegations against him.

When he appeared at Manchester Crown Court 10 days ago he flashed a thumbs-up sign at fans as they shouted encouragement to him.

It was a big difference from a few weeks ago when he looked drawn, haggard and close to tears as he appeared before magistrates.

 

by Nick Owens

Corrie chiefs urged to act after star Bill Roache blames child abuse victims

Published March 19, 2013 by misty534

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Child abuse campaigners today called on ITV to take action against Coronation Street star Bill Roache after he said that victims were to blame for what happens to them.

The actor, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap’s first episode in 1960, is in New Zealand for a tour of Coronation Street On Stage.

Roache, 80, joined the Pure Love movement last year, which claims that the power of love can cure illness, famine and poverty.

In an interview with One News presenter Garth Bray, he said of child abuse victims: “If you accept that you are pure love, and you know that you are pure love and therefore live that pure love, these things won’t happen to you.”

When Bray asked if he meant that victims were to blame, Roache said: “Not quite, but yes I am, because everything that happens to us has been a result of what we have been in previous lives.”

Discussing the Jimmy Savile scandal and paedophilia, Roache said abusers should be forgiven. “Paedophiles should be sought out, rooted out and dealt with, but there’s a fringe of people, particularly pop singers, they have these groupies,” he said.

“These girls, they’re sexually active, sexually mature, they [the stars] don’t ask for their birth certificate, they don’t know what age they might be. But they’re certainly not grooming them and exploiting them, but they can be caught in this trap. These people are instantly stigmatised.”

“This claim is completely disgusting,” said Dr John Bird, of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. “I think it is for whoever produces the show to issue an apology on his behalf and maybe take a look at what he is saying.”

Lawyer Liz Dux, representing 65 people who claim they were abused by Savile, said: “These are very worrying and disturbing comments.”

An ITV spokeswoman said enquiries should be made to Roache’s agents, who refused to comment.

 

evening standard