William Roache's love life claims were ruled prejudicial

William Roache and Piers Morgan
William Roache's revelations to Piers Morgan were ruled prejudicial. Photo: ITV

The apparent TV confession by William Roache that he had bedded up to 1,000 women was ruled prejudicial to put before the jury in his trial.

His revelations about his womanising past to broadcaster Piers Morgan attracted a huge amount of publicity when the Life Stories interview on ITV was screened in April 2012.

The 81-year-old explained that his infidelity caused the breakdown of his first marriage to actress Anna Cropper - a period of time in which he was accused of the string of sex offences against young girls of which he has been cleared.

His wild behaviour led fellow stars to dub him C**k Roache and he added he could not control his sex drive at the time, he said.

Giving evidence, Roache admitted to being unfaithful but told the jurors those affairs were "infrequent" and he was looking for love at the time and not "gratuitous sex".

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC wanted to question the defendant about the interview and present the relevant sections of it as evidence.

But Mr Justice Holroyde said the tone and the context of the interview with the former newspaper editor was "significant" and it could not be seen as an "accurate" or "reliable" guide to his sexual history.

He said: "Mr Morgan sought to invite or encourage Mr Roache to put a number of his sexual partners during this period. No clear answer was given by Mr Roache although Mr Morgan proposed a series of increasingly large figures

"The number proposed reached the level of 1,000. No clear answer was given by Mr Roache.

"In my judgment , a propensity to have consensual sex cannot on itself be evidence of a propensity to have non-consensual sex or to have sex with a person under the legal age of consent at the relevant time."

He concluded: "I accept that there would be a substantial risk of prejudice to the defendant if reference was made to the content of that section of the interview.

"It seems to me that in the circumstances of this case, the reference to 1,000 women would have a tendency to lodge in the mind and however much the point was stressed that Mr Morgan suggested that figure and Mr Roache did not specifically agree with it, it would have a prejudicial effect."

In the interview, Roache said: "There were plenty of girls around. I shouldn't have done it. I didn't have any control over my own sex drive. I didn't have the strength to control it.''

He told Morgan he had slept with "more than 100" women and when asked if the number was nearer 1,000, he said: "Well, I'm not denying it."

Roache said his affairs while married to his first wife left him "regretting and hurting".