1. ITV Report

Corrie star in court on child sex charges

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell Photo: PA

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, from Manchester, is due to make his first appearance in Crown Court accused of child sex offences.

The star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, will appear at Manchester Crown Court under his real name of Michael Turner.

The 48-year-old has been charged with 19 offences including six counts of raping a child, six allegations of indecently assaulting a child and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.

The alleged offences relate to one complainant and all took place between 2001 and 2010.

Le Vell appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court last month and is on bail on condition he surrenders his passport, does not contact named witnesses and does not have unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 14.

He has not yet entered a plea but has stated publicly he is innocent and will fight the allegations through the courts.

He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped.

Earlier this year the Crown Prosecution Service said it was in the public interest to charge him with the current offences following a review of evidence.

Le Vell, a father of two, is one of TV's most famous faces after playing garage owner and mechanic Webster for the past 30 years.

The star, originally from Manchester, began his showbusiness career in the Oldham Theatre Workshop after taking an interest in amateur dramatics while at school.

He first joined Coronation Street in 1983 and quickly endeared himself to fans who have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from his time as Brian Tilsley's apprentice mechanic through to his stormy marriage to Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, and fathering two girls, Rosie and Sophie, as well as a son, Jack, from his affair with Molly Dobbs.

The actor split from his wife, Janette Beverley, last year.

ITV has said he will not be appearing in any further episodes of the soap pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

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