Jury in Bill Roache trial retires to consider verdicts

The jury in the trial of Coronation Street actor William Roache has retired to consider its verdicts. Roache denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

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Roache jurors warned to put emotions aside

Jurors in the trial of Coronation Street star William Roache were told today to leave emotions aside and not to rely on any assumptions they have made about other similar cases.

Read: Jimmy Savile 'elephant in the room' at Bill Roache trial

Summing up the case, Mr Justice Holroyde said:

There is a head-on conflict of evidence. The principal question you will have to ask yourself on each of the charges will be a stark one. Are you sure that Mr Roache committed the sexual act which the complainant says he did?

Emotions must play no part in your decisions. It would only distract from your solemn duty in accordance with the oath or affirmation you made at the start of the trial to return true verdicts according to the evidence.

You must put to one side any feelings of sympathy or anger you may have, in one direction or another.

Roache is accused of two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault involving the complainants. He denies all charges.

Jury told Savile is 'elephant in the room' of Roache trial

The trial of Coronation Street's Bill Roache has been haunted by the "spectre" of Jimmy Savile, the actor's defence barrister has said.

In the final submissions to the jury at Preston Crown Court, Louise Blackwell QC said:

Jimmy Savile is like an elephant in the room. You can't ignore it. Jimmy Savile has affected, in fact, infected this trial and investigation of these offences.

The Jimmy Savile allegations, for example, related to when he went around hospitals or vulnerable children's homes. They will know whether he was there, there will be records.

One of the things in this case is there is no records. Mr Roache cannot point to a document and say 'There you are, I was not in Granada Studios on that day or in a car or in a house'."

We would invite you to consider a literary quote and see if it helps you: 'Oh what a tangled web we weave when at first we practise to deceive'. Or, to put it another way, if you are going to lie, you need to have a clear head and a good memory.

Roache's trial, now in its third week, has heard from five women who claim he sexually assaulted them when they were 16 or under, either at Granada Studios in Manchester, in his car or at properties he owned between 1967 and 1972. He denies all the charges.

Jury told case against Corrie star Roache is 'nonsense'

Bill Roache arrived at Preston Crown Court alongside his son James and daughter Verity. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The case against Coronation Street's Bill Roache is a "nonsense" that relies on the notion that the actor turned from a "perfect gentleman" to a sexual predator and back again, his defence barrister has said.

Roache, 81, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, is accused of using his fame and popularity to exploit "starstruck" youngsters in the late 60s and early 70s.

Summing up at Preston Crown Court, Louise Blackwell QC said: "What the prosecution say is that for some weird reason between 1965 and 1972 ... Mr Roache departed from his usual character and behaviour and became a young woman-snatcher, a risk-taker, taking people into toilets.

"Then as soon as this madness is visited upon him, it passes. It's nonsense, it just doesn't happen in the real world."

Roache, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault involving five complainants between the mid-1960s and early 1970s.

He told the jury at Preston Crown Court he has no knowledge of any of the women he is supposed to have assaulted.

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Roache jury told not to fall into 'post-Savile trap'

by Amy Welch

The barrister defending William Roache has urged a jury to look closely at inconsistencies in witness accounts.

Louise Blackwell QC pointed out the difficulty of proving Mr Roache wasn't there when dealing with sexual allegations from half a century a go.

She also warned the jury not to fall into a post-Jimmy Savile 'trap' and think that there may be other victims when there are five, not 25.

William Roache denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault.

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Prosecutor urges jurors to disregard celebrity witnesses

The prosecution has said that if Coronation Street actor Bill Roache is telling the truth then three of the complainants in his case "must be mad".

Anne Whyte QC said: "They have nothing in common. No connection.

"And yet they are all saying something of a broadly similar nature and at a broadly similar point in time."

Ms Whyte also told jurors to disregard celebrity witnesses in this case. "What matters here is ordinary people," she said.

"The task of a jury is never an enviable one. We ask you to approach the task with the same courage that the five complainants have showed", she added.

The trial was adjourned until 10am tomorrow when Louise Blackwell QC will give her closing speech for the defence.

Prosecution: Roache's fame 'highly relevant' in case

In her closing speech, prosecutor Anne Whyte QC, said Coronation Street actor Bill Roache's fame was "highly relevant" in his case.

"These offences, frankly, would not have happened if he was not famous," she said.

Ms Whyte said it "put him out of reach" and, because of who he was, anyone whom he touched sexually without consent "would probably not have the guts to complain".

Prosecutor Anne Whyte QC questioning Bill Roache earlier this week Credit: ITV News/Priscilla Coleman

"Once he had got away with it once or twice, it would not discourage him from from trying again," she continued.

"He was probably reinforced with the belief that he would not be reported.

"We say that on occasion, when the opportunity arose, he took it with impunity."

Mr Roache denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault involving the complainants aged 16 and under between the mid-1960s and early 1970s.

Prosecution: Bill Roache is 'sticking to his script'

Bill Roache denies two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault. Credit: Press Association

Coronation Street star Bill Roache was "sticking to his script" when he said that he did not sexually abuse five young girls, Preston Crown Court heard today.

In her closing speech, prosecutor Anne Whyte QC said: "Well, members of the jury, someone is lying.

"Five complainants have made sexual allegations against William Roache.

"He is emphatic that it just did not happen.....he is lying or literally all of them are."

She went on: "Who, of all the witnesses, is most used to rehearsing what he has to say and sticking to his script?

"Is it someone like (another alleged victim) or is it the actor William Roache, a man who has spent his entire life learning lines and delivering them for public consumption?"

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