Corrie actor Le Vell appears in dock

Corrie actor Le Vell appears in dock

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, best known for playing mechanic Kevin Webster for 30 years, has made his first appearance in court accused of child sex offences - including rape.

The 48-year-old appeared in the dock at Manchester Magistrates' Court, under his real name of Michael Turner, on Wednesday morning.

He stands accused of a total of 19 charges - including six counts of raping a child, six of indecent assault against a child, and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.

All the offences are alleged to relate to one person and to have occurred between 2001 and 2010.
Wednesday's hearing lasted just eight minutes and Le Vell, wearing a white shirt and black tie, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

District Judge Khalid Qureshi asked Le Vell's solicitor if there was any indication of plea.

"No indication of plea today - other than the fact that the charges are contested, and will be fully contested in the Crown Court," Richard Gowthorpe replied.

The circumstances of the arrest and investigation have been unusual. There are 19 charges now and it has been almost 18 months since his arrest.

Richard Gowthorpe, Le Vell's solicitor

Four members of Le Vell's family watched from the back of the court, where they had to sit on seats usually reserved for officials as members of the press packed out the public gallery.

The actor was bailed until the case goes before Manchester Crown Court on 20 March.

Le Vell nodded to the judge to show that he understood the conditions of his release - which include surrendering his passport, not contacting named witnesses, and not having unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 14.

He made no comment as he left court.

Le Vell - a father of two from Altrincham in Greater Manchester, who split from his wife last year - was first arrested and questioned over alleged child sex offences in September 2011.

The matter was dropped, but the Crown Prosecution Service then took the decision to charge him earlier this month following a review of evidence.

ITV has said that Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street during the legal proceedings.

In a statement made after his arrest, the actor insisted he was innocent of the charges and that he intended to "fight them vigorously".


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