Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do You Have Any Memory of Your Accusers? Not One of Them, Says Street Star

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Do You Have Any Memory of Your Accusers? Not One of Them, Says Street Star

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Cheston and Nigel Bunyan

CORONATION Street star William Roache today told a jury he had never committed sex offences and could not remember any of the women who claim he attacked them.

The 81-year-old actor entered the witness box as his defence was opened at Preston crown court. His counsel Louise Blackwell QC asked: "Have you committed any of the offences with which you have been charged?" Roache replied: "No I have not." Miss Blackwell continued: "Do you have any memory of being in the company of any of the people that have made the allegations against you?" "No, not one of them," Roache replied.

"Do you know any of them in any way?" Miss Blackwell said.

"No," the defendant replied. "Or of them in any way?" Miss Blackwell said. "No," he replied.

Roache told how he had been brought up a doctor's son in Ilkeston, Derbyshire and went to a Rudolph Steiner School near his home.

Talking about Mr Steiner, he said: "He had an interesting philosophy about education that school should be a place of fun. Handcrafts, dancing, painting... there was no discipline; it was not needed either."

Speaking of the effect the school had on him, he said: "I did have an interest in things from beyond the sixth sense of the normal. Spiritual matters always remained interesting."

He next went to a boarding school in North Wales, which he enjoyed less. It had a more traditional academic focus with "cold baths in the morning".

Roache said he was left-handed but the school made him right-handed.

After leaving school he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and, in five years of service, rose to the rank of captain and spent two years in Oman.

In the mid-Fifties he suffered an accident during live ammunition training with a mortar platoon which permanently damaged his hearing.

Roache said he felt an "obligation" to follow generations of his family who had gone into the medical profession but he was not adept at sciences. …

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