Sunday 22 April 2018

Sex trial 'Corrie' actor quizzed on 'dark secrets'

Alcohol problem: 'Coronation Street' actor Michael Le Vell leaves Manchester Crown Court on day four of his trial
Alcohol problem: 'Coronation Street' actor Michael Le Vell leaves Manchester Crown Court on day four of his trial

JONATHAN BROWN

Michael Le VelL, the Coronation Street actor, has insisted that his only "little dark secrets" concerned cheating on his wife and not the sexual abuse of a young girl.

The 48-year-old, who denies repeatedly raping a child, has told Manchester Crown Court that he had a string of one-night stands during his 25-year marriage as his wife underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer, and admitted he was an alcoholic.

He also admitted he was able to lead a charmed and "cocooned" life because of his job as an actor.

But Eleanor Laws, prosecuting, told the jury of a conversation the actor had with someone last year about "secrets".

He told the person: "I have had a few one-night stands."

He said he had a similar conversation four years ago but did not reveal the secrets.

Mr Le Vell agreed, also telling the same person that what he had done was "something unforgivable".

But he denied ever saying that they would not believe "what things are inside my head".

"You said that?", asked Ms Laws.

"No," he replied.

The barrister continued: "It would be a very odd thing to have said if you were talking about one-night stands."

Mr Le Vell said: "It would not make sense."

Ms Laws said: "I am going to suggest to you that what you were referring to was the abuse that was going on?"

"No, not at all," he replied. "There was no abuse going on."

Mr Le Vell told the court he is an alcoholic, drinking seven or eight pints every night at his local pub.

He denied he went out every night because there was something troubling him, and told the court he did this because he is "working class".

Mr Le Vell admitted he was "cocooned" because of his job, as an actor – playing Kevin Webster on Coronation Street – and agreed this allowed him to lead a charmed life.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, claims Mr Le Vell repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped her, once while she was clutching a teddy bear.

Ms Laws suggested he groomed his victim and gradually "pushed the limits," being unable to stop himself.

"Not that you were not ashamed about this but you could not stop it?" she added. Mr Le Vell replied: "It never happened."

Mr Le Vell repeatedly insisted he didn't abuse the victim, despite being accused by Ms Laws of making up his story as he went along. He also denied on one occasion trying to cover up the victim's mouth with the teddy bear.

Alisdair Williamson, defending Mr Le Vell, told the jury his client had never been arrested or interviewed by police prior to the allegations.

He went on to ask him: "Have you ever got so drunk that you decided to rape (alleged victim)?"

"No," the actor replied.

Judge Michael Henshell told the jury of eight women and four men that his intention was for the two barristers to deliver their closing speeches tomorrow. He said he would also sum up the trial and then send the jurors out to consider their verdict

Mr Le Vell, whose real name is Michael Turner, denies 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.

Sunday Independent

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