LATEST: William Roache jury warned to ‘leave emotions aside’

Coronation Street actor Bill Roache
Coronation Street actor Bill Roache

Jurors in the trial of Ilkeston born Coronation Street actor William Roache have been warned to leave their emotions aside when deciding a verdict.

The 81-year-old, who is on trial at Preston Crown Court, denies two counts of rape and four charges of sexual assaults against five girls between 1965 and 1971.

The alleged offences are said to have taken place in the toilets and dressing rooms at Granada Studios, Manchester, the actor’s car and his homes in Lancashire.

Summing up the case, Judge Timothy Holroyde told the jury of eight women and four men: “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.

“What is needed is a cool-headed appraisal of the evidence you have heard. So concentrate on those aspects of the evidence which you think are important to your verdict.

“The seriousness of the case is obvious but the reality is that jurors up and down the country have to, and do, decide serious cases, so do not be daunted by your task.”

He also told jurors not to make assumptions about sex cases.

“It is the court’s experience that there is no stereotype of a sexual offender or a victim of sexual offence or how a victim of a sexual offence behaves,” he said. “It would be wrong for you to assume that a victim of a sexual offence would necessarily report it at the first opportunity or necessarily remember every detail of it for the rest of her life.

“The simple reality is that sexual offences can be committed in all kinds of circumstances, by and against all kinds of people.”

He urged them to disregard any assumptions when deciding “where the truth lies.”

The trial continues.