Bill Roache misheard not guilty verdict

Published Sunday, 09 February 2014
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Veteran British actor Bill Roache flew into a panic in court as he was cleared of sex abuse charges because he misheard the verdicts and was convinced he had been found guilty.

Bill Roache misheard not guilty verdict

The Coronation Street star was cleared of two rapes and four indecent assaults by a unanimous verdict at Preston Crown Court in England on Thursday.

However, Roache, 81, who suffers from hearing trouble, has now revealed he didn't hear the verdicts properly when they were read out, and he was devastated as he thought he had been found guilty.

He told the Mail on Sunday newspaper: "I didn't hear the verdict properly. I didn't hear a couple of 'nots'. I thought I had gone on two, I just heard, 'Guilty, guilty, guilty'. My family were weeping and it wasn't until my security man started clapping and said: 'Get that man out of the dock,' and the judge said: 'You may leave the dock,' that I realised I was a free man."

He added: "I was resigned to going down on one charge or another... The last week was a nightmare, I really thought they'd got me... I thought that was it."

Roache's comments come after police confirmed they are reviewing fresh information which was turned over to them during the trial.

A Lancashire Police spokeswoman said: "During the course of the trial of Mr Roache, a number of other people have contacted the police with further information. This information will be reviewed to ascertain what action, if any, needs to be taken in relation to it. Mr Roache was acquitted of all the charges in the trial and there is no current investigation."

Roache was also acquitted of another count of indecent assault midway through the trial last month due to insufficient evidence.

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