Jury considers Le Vell verdict

The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell for alleged sex offences at Manchester Crown Court. He denies all 12 charges.

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Jury retires to consider verdict in Michael Le Vell trial

The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell for alleged sex offences at Manchester Crown Court.

He is accused of 12 charges, including 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.

Mr Le Vell has denied all charges.

Le Vell jury told not to allow sympathy cloud judgement

Michael Le Vell listens as Judge Michael Henshell sums up the case to the jury Credit: Priscilla Coleman / ITV News

Summing up the trial, Judge Michael Henshell said both Michael Le Vell and the alleged victim were distressed at times as they gave evidence.

But he told them: "Do not allow sympathy to cloud your judgment for either side."

Signs of distress in the witness box were not a reliable guide to the truth, he said.

He told the jury that a "late complaint" of abuse did not necessarily mean it was false, while conversely an immediate complaint was not always true.

The alleged victim's state of mind and maturity at the time of the allegations should be taken into account, while Le Vell deserved to be treated as a man of good character having not previously been arrested.

Prosecution has 'no killer point' in Le Vell case

Alisdair Williamson, defending, asked the jury to consider Michael Le Vell's own evidence from the witness box during a "ferocious cross-examination" by prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC.

Did you think he was acting or was his evidence the scared and frightened evidence of a man who faces the most unbelievable and terrible thing ever to happen to a man - a girl saying he raped her?

Mr Williamson asked jurors to find the prosecution's "killer point" to convince them the defendant was guilty.

"There was nothing, whatsoever," he told them.

He's a man, a weak man, a stupid man, a drunk man, but nothing in this case has taken you anywhere near, I suggest, the level of certainty you would need so you can look in the mirror in the days that come and say 'I was sure'.

Defence: 'Agonising lack of detail from Le Vell witness'

Alisdair Williamson gives the closing speech for the defence. Credit: Priscilla Coleman/ITV News

Alisdair Williamson, defending, accused the girl of making "silly" or "ridiculous" details in her story that "doesn't add up".

He added: "There's an agonising lack of detail from this witness.

"She can't give you details because it did not happen and that's why her story varies according to who she's talking to."

Mr Williamson said the defendant was a "drunk, bad husband and inadequate father" whose behaviour was sometimes "terrible", but he is not a child rapist.

He said no child pornography was found on Le Vell's computer, no adults he knew were saying he was "odd" or they felt "uneasy" around him - "the sort of evidence these courts hear all the time", the barrister added.

"Nothing to support this girl's inconsistent, incoherent and unbelievable account."

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Le Vell's barrister: Prosecution created 'hall of mirrors'

The barrister for Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell claimed the prosecution had created a "hall of mirrors" as he gave the closing speech for the defence.

Addressing the eight women and four men on the jury directly, Alisdair Williamson began by saying it was a "strange case of child rape" without any physical evidence or injuries to the alleged victim.

Alisdair Williamson, defence barrister for Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire/Press Association Images

"Welcome to the prosecution's hall of mirrors," he told the jury. "Where up is down and left is right."

Mr Williamson also suggested the girl had given differing accounts of the frequency and details of the alleged abuse to her mother, her friends and to the police.

"Where is the consistency, the solidity of evidence on which you are going to be sure?" he asked the court. "Not there, simply not there."

Prosecution: Le Vell is a 'troubled man'

Concluding her statement, Eleanor Laws QC told the jury that Michael Le Vell was "a troubled man" but asked them to consider what his accuser had experienced in the last two years.

She said: "If it's a lie, think what she's put herself through, unnecessarily, for two years.

"What has she got to gain from all that? Nothing, absolutely nothing, unless this is the truth and she just wants to tell you the truth.

"And if she is telling the truth then it is your duty to mark her courage with a conviction."

After a short break the trial will resume with an address from Le Vell's defence barrister, Alisdair Williamson

  1. Damon Green - ITV News Correspondent

Prosecution dismiss it was 'a lie that got out of control'

Eleanor Laws QC dismisses Michael Le Vell's suggestion that this was "a lie that got out of control".

She said the accuser had several opportunities to back down and took none of them.

When told by her mother, before making a formal accusation: "it has to be your choice what to do", she replied: "I want to go to the police."

  1. Damon Green - ITV News Correspondent

Le Vell jury told 'concentrate on evidence' in trial

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell outside Manchester Crown Court. Credit: PA Wire

Ms Laws told the jury to put the celebrity of the defendant - charged under his real name of Michael Turner - out of their minds.

"Forget what you knew, or thought you may have known, about this defendant. You saw (his accuser) giving evidence.

"There have been lots of prosecutions of celebrities. You may wonder if there is some kind of witch hunt going on, if the world is going mad.

"That may make you feel very uneasy indeed. Put those things out of your mind. Concentrate on her evidence.

The prosecutor also referred to the actor's heavy drinking, which he admitted himself in court.

She said: "The question was, why take the risk? Drink is a great dis-inhibitor."

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