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

Published March 31, 2013 by JS2

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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

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MPs call for specialist courts to deal with sex abuse cases

Published March 18, 2013 by JS2

Vulnerable sexual abuse witnesses should be allowed to give evidence in new specialist courts featuring uniquely-trained judges in the wake of the Rochdale and Jimmy Savile scandals, MPs will argue today.

The court sittings, modelled on those introduced for domestic violence cases, would also ensure a specially-trained court usher is assigned to at-risk witnesses and facilities such as screens to protect them from the accused are provided.

Conservative MP Nicola Blackwood and Labour MP Ann Coffey are calling for specialist courts in two proposed amendments to the forthcoming Crime and Courts Bill, which is being debated in Parliament today.

They will also press for “intermediaries” to be assigned to witnesses in every sexual exploitation case, who would advise on how to support vulnerable witnesses as well as monitor questioning and cross-examination practice.

Ms Coffey, MP for Stockport, said: “Cross examination is often traumatic and inappropriate for child witnesses. NSPCC research showed that more than half of young witnesses experience stress symptoms ranging from sleep and eating problems, depression, bed-wetting and self-harming.

“Children do not approach communication in the same way as adults and the same research also revealed that half of all young witnesses said they were unable to understand some of the questions they were asked in court. This rises to 90% in those aged under 10.”

The calls come after Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, expressed concerns about the treatment of vulnerable court witnesses in the wake of the Savile scandal.

He said: “Police forces have significantly improved the way that victims are treated but the fact is many, many victims do not come forward or if they do are reluctant to support a prosecution. This highlights another issue in the way our adversarial court system treats victims.”

He added: “In sexual offences, the behaviour of the victim, whether they had been drinking, any weaknesses of character, how they were dressed, may well be picked over at great length in the courtroom.”

Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, has also said the pressure put on young witnesses during cross-examination in courtrooms is allowing sex offenders to get away with their crimes.

Vulnerable victims often have to endure aggressive cross-examination and questioning from multiple lawyers in intimidating court settings and NSPCC figures show that only 2% of young witnesses currently receive support from registered intermediaries.

The huge volume of unreported allegations against Savile demonstrates how many young people are frightened to come forward and talk about their experiences, the MPs said.

And the recent suicide of the musician Frances Andrade is also a stark reminder of how vulnerable some victims who give evidence against abusers in court can be, they added.

Ms Blackwood is MP for Oxford West, where nine men are currently on trial accused of grooming and exploiting children.

The men, from Oxford and Berkshire, deny 51 counts relating to girls aged between 11 and 15 from 2004 to 2012.

Ms Blackwood, who is also a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, said: “While evidence has to be properly tested in court, I have seen first-hand the agony of a fragile young witness doing her best keep it together enough to describe, to a roomful of men in wigs, the violent sexual abuse she was subjected to for most of her childhood.

“All too often what follows next is aggressive cross examination to cast the witness as a liar, a prostitute, promiscuous, asking for it, or responsible for her own abuse.

“It doesn’t have to be like that. Specialist courts can offer wrap-around support for witnesses while still delivering fairness to defendants. If the court process is less traumatising more victims will come forward, fewer investigations will collapse and more prosecutions will be successful.”

The amendments have attracted support from around 100 MPs across all political parties.

Alan Wardle, NSPCC’s head of corporate affairs, backed calls for specialist court sittings, led by trained judges.

He said: “We need a criminal justice system that actively encourages child victims to come forward, has the well-being of child victims at its heart and ultimately ensures that justice is done.”

 

by Jamie Grierson 

Weston-super-Mare man jailed over 58,000 indecent images of children

Published January 14, 2013 by JS2

A Weston-super-Mare man has been jailed for possessing 58,000 indecent images and videos of children as young as six.

Andrew Coombs’ stash of material was found on hard disks in his home on Palmer Row when police attended his property on an unrelated matter.

Suspicions were aroused when officers noticed a number of computers which linked to an external network. Police arrested the 46-year-old when they found a search for bestiality on his internet browser.

At a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Friday, Coombs was given a 24-week prison sentence.

The court heard that police attended his address on January 17, 2011. Most of the images and videos seized were on “catalogued” hard drives, some of which were encrypted.

Police discovered a total of 58,000 images and videos, 26 of which fall under the most serious category. Some of the hard drives remain encrypted and have been sent to GCHQ for processing.

Prosecuting, Jason Taylor said the material contained images and videos of boys and girls ranging from six to 14 years of age.

Defending, Brendon Moorhouse argued that only 0.3 per cent of the files were in the most serious category.

He added that the cataloguing did not suggest the material was for distribution.

Judge Michael Longman said he was mindful that Coombs had not cooperated with police accessing the discs. He added Coombs would not be sentenced for what might be on the remaining hard drives before giving him 24 weeks for each of the 16 counts of possessing indecent images. His terms will be served concurrently.

A sadistic paedophile has been jailed for 16 years for what a veteran judge called “the worst case” he’d heard.

Published January 4, 2013 by JS2

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One of his two victims was four when he first assaulted her – and lashed her with a dog lead when she struggled

A sadistic paedophile has been jailed for 16 years for what a veteran judge called “the worst case” he’d heard.

One of Robert Sullivan’s two victims was four when he first assaulted her – and lashed her with a dog lead when she struggled.

Chester crown court heard Sullivan, now 68, tied one girl to a radiator in a disused factory before raping her and beating her over the head with a piece of wood.

He raped one victim on Christmas Eve, smashing down a toilet door at a house in Winsford, Cheshire.

The court heard the defendant used the girls as “playthings” to fulfil his own sexual gratification in a “cycle of violent and sadistic behaviour.”

The abuse went on between 1977 and 1984.

Sullivan was arrested in 2009 but went on the run for 22 months before being caught last July.

He admitted 25 sex charges, including nine rapes.

“Childhood memories are mostly supposed to be happy, sadly for both these victims their memories were nothing short of a nightmare,” said prosecutor John Wyn Williams, who said the girls had told people about the abuse back in the 80s but were never taken seriously.

Judge Elgan Edwards called Sullivan “foul”, adding: “Anyone who has heard this case shudders for what you did.

“I have been sitting in this court for some considerable period of time, I have not heard a worse case than this.

“You will spend most of the rest of your life in custody but I’m sure you deserve it.”

Christopher Morrison admits Asda sex attack on 4 year old boy

Published December 18, 2012 by JS2

bbc news glasgow and west scotland

A man has admitted sexually assaulting a four-year-old boy in a supermarket toilet in West Dunbartonshire.

Christopher Morrison, 20, from Elderslie, attacked the child at the Asda store in Britannia Way, Clydebank, on 18 September.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the boy went to the toilet alone while in the store with his mother and grandmother.

Sentence on Morrison was deferred and he was remanded in custody. He was also placed on the sex offenders register.

Prosecutor Bruce Erroch told the court how the boy had been out with his mother and grandmother at the Asda when he went alone to the toilet.

Boy warned

Morrison was already there and soon approached the four-year-old.

Mr Erroch said: “He did not say anything, but he (Morrison) put his finger to his own mouth as if to be quiet.”

The boy was indecently assaulted before Morrison was seen hurrying away from the scene.

The child then told his mother what had gone on, claiming “a man” had done something to him.

The woman alerted staff before police launched a high-profile appeal to catch the attacker.

Officers scoured the store’s CCTV footage and eventually Morrison, of Elderslie, Renfrewshire, was traced.

His DNA was found on the boy, but when questioned about the attack, Morrison made no admissions.

Police at the time said it had taken a full day to interview the child after his ordeal.

But, Det Insp Graham Cordner added: “The wee boy is fine. He’s thankfully un-injured and he is safe with his mother.”

Judge Lord Bracadale remanded Morrison in custody and deferred sentencing for reports until next month.

The judge was told a victim impact statement had been completed by the boy’s mother, but the court did not hear details of what it contained.

CUB SCOUT LEADER JAILED FOR 3 YEARS FOR ABUSING YOUNG BOY

Published December 14, 2012 by JS2

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by Nick Edmundson – Get Surrey

A NEW Haw cub scout leader who sexually abused a young boy and collected indecent images of children has been jailed for three years.

Daniel Bisacre, 32, from Knaphill, cornered the boy, who he met through the scout movement, and performed an indecent act on him in two separate incidents.

Bisacre, who was found guilty of two counts of sexual activity with a child by Guildford Crown Court on November 14, was a former leader of the 2nd New Haw Scout Group.

The boy joined the cub scout movement in a different group to the one run by the defendant.

At his sentencing on Friday, Judge Christopher Critchlow said: “As a scout leader you of course were trusted by parents of the boys in your charge, whether on a trip somewhere or on a scout camp. With your actions you breached that trust.”

The court heard how Bisacre, of Tringham Close, had also been found guilty of child pornography charges in September 2011, after more than 800 indecent images of young boys were found on his computer.

Mr Critchlow added: “I hope while you are in custody that you take the opportunity to address your behaviour. I certainly hope that there won’t be any further offending of this nature.”

In mitigation, Amanda Hamilton, defending, said Bisacre had lost everything following his convictions and had been verbally abused by other prison inmates who heard about the nature of his crimes.

“Despite the publicity of this case, his family has continued to have positive contact with the scouts, including the families of of boy scouts that he looked after,” she said.

“It goes to show how he was viewed by people. Nothing negative has come from anybody towards him and his family.”

Mr Critchlow said: “Before you committed these offences you were a man of good character. You are now 32 and the have lost that good character and through this offence you have lost a great deal.

“You have lost your job, your pension and your involvement with the scouts.”

Bisacre was given a 27-month prison sentence for the two counts of sexual activity with a child and a consecutive nine-month sentence for the possession of indecent images.

Pervert jailed for internet sex offences

Published April 12, 2012 by JS2

A PERVERT who asked women in the Philippines to expose their daughters to him over the internet has been jailed for nine years by a judge in Cardiff.

John Crotty took advantage of poor families in the Far East while living in sheltered accommodation in the Rhymney Valley.

The 54-year-old promised presents or money to the mums to film their daughters in the shower or sleeping naked in their beds while asking to see their young bodies exposed.

In one recorded computer chat he had with a mother, he asked her child’s age and on being told the little girl was just five asked to see her body.

That mother ended their contact telling him he was abnormal and a maniac, but Judge David Wynn Morgan said some were so desperate they were prepared to satisfy his sexual interests online.

He told Crotty: “This took sophisticated planning and careful grooming of the mothers and was carried out with persistence and manipulation.

“You have a perverted interest in pre-pubescent girls, have shown no insight into your offending and have wickedly sought to blame others.”

During his trial at Cardiff Crown Court, Crotty claimed friends must have been in his warden-controlled flat at Ysgwydd Gwyn, Jenkins Row, Deri, and used his computer while he was asleep.

But the jury was told he didn’t get up until lunchtime because he was awake, at his computer, through the night.

In a case believed to be one of the first of its kind in Wales, he had denied charges of arranging child prostitution or pornography 7,000 miles from home, attempting to arrange the commission of child sex offences and possessing indecent images of children.

A jury unanimously found him guilty.

The court heart Crotty met the women either in computer chat rooms or on visits to the Philippines.

He was told five years of his sentence would be custodial, and he will remain on licence and subject to recall to prison until 2021.

His name will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life and he is banned from ever working with children.

A Sexual Offences Prevention Order was also imposed to prevent him ever living in the same house as a child under 16 or having unsupervised contact with a child.

He is also banned from using any internet device which does not store a history of its use, and will have to make it available to the police for inspection if a request is made.

Wales online