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Roache rape claims described as ‘unlikely’

Coronation street actor Bill Roache arrives at Preston Crown Court where he faces two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in east Lancashire in 1967, and five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16 in the Manchester area in 1965 and 1968. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday 15th January 2014. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA

Coronation street actor Bill Roache arrives at Preston Crown Court where he faces two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in east Lancashire in 1967, and five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16 in the Manchester area in 1965 and 1968. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday 15th January 2014. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA

Claims that Ilkeston born Coronation Street star William Roache raped a woman were today described as ‘unlikely.’

Louise Blackwell QC, defending, said that the alleged victim changing her mind about how old she was at the time cast doubt on her claims.

She told the jury: “That’s the sort of thing a young woman would remember with real clarity.”

Roache, 81, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, denies two rapes and four indecent assaults against five women.

The assaults are alleged to have happened between 1965 and 1971 with girls aged 16 or under and in a number of locations including his car and at Granada Studios.

One woman alleges he raped her twice at his homes in Haslingden, Lancashire, on separate occasions.

In her closing speech Ms Blackwell asked the jury: “Where is the evidence that they were in the studios, in that cottage or in that car?

“If you cannot be sure that’s the end of the matter.”

She described the alleged rape victim’s story as “weak when you start to look at it.”

She wet on to ask the jury, sitting at Preston Crown Court: “How many women would not remember exactly how old they were when they lost their virginity?

“It’s not just the first experience of sex, but it was horrid and you were raped.

“We say, it’s just not possible you don’t know how old you were. It totally lacks sense and credibility.”

She questioned the circumstances in which a second alleged assault took place and said: “You would not put yourself in that situation.

“It is, we submit, absolutely unbelievable.”

Ms Blackwell said two sisters who told the court they had both been indecently assaulted by Roache were “wildly at odds with each other.”

One of the women told the court last week that Mr Roache assaulted her after he arranged passes for her to visit Granada Studios in Manchester with her sister, who alleges she was also abused by Mr Roache on a separate occasion.

“When something memorable happens you remember details because it’s true,” she said.

Ms Blackwell went on to make reference to the disgraced late DJ Jimmy Savile and said it was “like an elephant in the room.”

She added: “Jimmy Savile has affected, in fact, infected this trial and investigation of these offences.

“We submit to you everything you have seen in this case, that in the post-Jimmy Savile crisis of conscience, when someone makes an allegation against a celebrity, that a fair investigation does not take place.”

The trial continues.

 

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