When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Coronation Street star cleared of sex offences
3:56pm Tuesday 10th September 2013 in News
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell said today he was ''delighted'' and it was a ''weight off his shoulders'' after he was cleared of child sex offences following a trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Le Vell mouthed ''thank you'' to the jury and raised his hand to them after he was cleared of each of the 12 counts.
He held his head up as the male foreman began giving the verdicts.
On the fourth count of not guilty he nodded his head in agreement with them.
His brother and sisters, who sat in the public gallery, were in tears as the verdicts were delivered.
One man shouted ''Get in'' when the last verdict was read out.
Le Vell looked round in confusion before he left the dock and was hugged by a supporter.
Cries of relief were then heard as he left the courtroom a free man, with his family members.
The jury deliberated for just short of five hours.
During the eight day trial the ''demons'' in Le Vell's private life were laid bare - his alcoholism and womanising while his wife battled breast cancer.
The court heard of his ''dark secret'' that he had enjoyed a string of one-night stands behind the back of his wife of 25 years, Janette Beverley. And he had abandoned the family home to get drunk in the pub each night.
But while Le Vell might be described as a ''weak, stupid and drunk man'' and a ''bad husband'', he was not a child rapist, Mr Williamson told the jury.
It was a ''strange case of child rape'' without any DNA evidence or injuries to the alleged victim, who claimed she had been raped and abused while a young girl, Mr Williamson added.
Le Vell was initially arrested on September 30, 2011, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to proceed with the case.
But after a review of the evidence following fresh allegations by the girl, Le Vell was re-arrested and charged in February 2013.
He first joined Coronation Street in 1983 and quickly endeared himself to fans, who have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from Brian Tilsley's apprentice mechanic through to his stormy marriage to Sally, played by Sally Dynevor.
He did not appear in any episodes of the soap during the legal proceedings.
Commenting after the verdicts, a spokeswoman for Coronation Street said: ''We are looking forward to meeting with Michael to discuss his return to the programme.''
Mr Le Vell vowed to celebrate with a drink after being cleared of child sex abuse charges.
Here follows his statement in full.
''I am delighted obviously, it is a weight off everyone's shoulders.
''And I would just like to thank my fantastic legal team, the family for their support, security, and I would like to thank ITV for their continued support throughout this traumatic time for all of us, and I would like to say thank you all for being patient.
''And I might go and have a drink now.''
Asked when he would return to the popular soap, he said: ''I might have a holiday first.
''I'll have to go and have a chat with my boss.''
Comments are closed on this article.