Corrie star denies rape charges

The star, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

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Helen Flanagan: Everyone knew Le Vell was innocent

Former Coronation Street actress Helen Flanagan, who played the role of Michael Le Vell's daughter on the ITV soap, has told Daybreak that "everyone" who knew him personally was certain "he would be found not guilty" of child sex abuse allegations.

Helen Flanagan told Daybreak she "couldn't imagine what he had been through" and said it was "absolutely heartbreaking" when Le Vell was charged.

Read more: Prosecutions: No celebrity witch-hunt

Calls for change in law after Le Vell cleared

There are calls for a change in the law to stop the naming of people accused of sex offences in the light of the Michael Le Vell case.

The Coronation Street actor was cleared yesterday of a number of child sex offences including five of rape.

But now there's increasing pressure for those facing such charges to be granted anonymity until such time as their case has been decided.

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Le Vell case 'properly brought'

Keir Starmer Credit: PA Images

The country's top prosecutor has told MPs it was the "right decision" to pursue a prosecution of now-acquitted Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell for child sex abuse charges.

Keir Starmer QC, outgoing director of public prosecutions, told the Home Affairs Select Committee a "proper assessment of the evidence was taken in the case".

His remarks come after Le Vell was cleared of 12 child sex offences at Manchester Crown Court yesterday.

Mr Starmer told the Committee: "There is a safeguard within our system and that is at the end of the prosecution's case in court, it is not only open to the judge it is the duty of the judge to stop the case if there's no case to answer.

"That did not happen in this case, and therefore there was a case to answer. That case was answered and the jury took some time to consider their verdict.

"So it was a properly brought case, it's not a case on which there was no evidence, had it been it would have been stopped half way after testing of the evidence."

Coro stars rally round Le Vell

Former colleagues of Coronation Street's Michael Le Vell have said they are delighted his reputation has been restored. The actor, who plays garage mechanic Kevin Webster, is expected to return to the soap after a jury cleared him of child sex abuse charges yesterday.

National

Prosecutor denies 'witch-hunt' after Le Vell acquittal

A top prosecutor has denied there is a "celebrity witch-hunt" in the wake of the acquittal of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell on child sex abuse charges.

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell smiles with his sister Sue after he was cleared of all charges.
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell smiles with his sister Sue after he was cleared of all charges. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Nazir Afzal, the Crown Prosecution Service national lead on child sexual exploitation, said "nobody should be above the law" and it that is the Crown's job to look at evidence, follow it wherever it may go and then present it.

Speaking at a child sexual exploitation conference in Blackburn, Mr Afzal stressed that each case was assessed on its own merits, regardless of whether a suspect had a high public profile.

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Cleared actor considers his Corrie future

Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell is expected to hold talks about returning to the soap after a jury in Manchester cleared him of child sex abuse allegations.

The actor from Hale has been in the ITV soap for 30 years and was found not guilty of all charges yesterday.

He did not appear in any episodes of the show during legal proceedings

Le Vell smiling
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell outside court yesterday Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Le Vell's 'two years of hell'

A jubilant Michael Le Vell outside court Credit: GTV

Close friend, former Coro star Nigel Pivaro, who played Terry Duckworth, said: "He has suffered two years of hell and probably more also due to his high profile far more than most.

"It has been a long journey for him. Now the jury has spoken, he can pick up his career and his life."

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