Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

DEVIOUS LIES HAVE LEFT ME FIGHTING FOR LIFE, SAYS LE VELL ; Drama in Packed Courtroom as Coronation Street Star Denies String of Rape Charges

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

DEVIOUS LIES HAVE LEFT ME FIGHTING FOR LIFE, SAYS LE VELL ; Drama in Packed Courtroom as Coronation Street Star Denies String of Rape Charges

Article excerpt

CORONATION Street star Michael Le Vell told a court he was 'fighting for his life' as he took to the witness box to deny a string of child rape charges.

The 48-year-old actor, who has played mechanic Kevin Webster for 30 years, claimed his accuser had a 'tendency to lie' and a 'devious streak'.

And in a voice that at times quavered with emotion, he described how the allegations had left him a 'lost soul'.

Mr Le Vell, of Hale, Altrincham, is alleged to have raped a young girl as she clutched a teddy.

Over a number of years he is said to have repeatedly forced her into sex acts, telling her it was to 'get rid of all the bad and all the evil' inside her, and claiming that she would 'die' if she ever told anyone 'our little secret'.

The Newton Heath-born TV star denies five charges of rape, three charges of indecent assault, two charges of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and two charges of sexual activity with a child in the trial at Manchester Crown Court.

Dressed in a black pinstriped suit, Mr Le Vell looked directly at the jury as he swore on the Bible to tell the truth.

He told the court that in September 2011 he was told by his accuser's mother 'she's made an allegation against you - she's accusing you of raping her'. He said: "I just stood there and said, tell me you're ******* joking. She said 'no'.

"My legs, they just seriously started to wobble. I was stunned and shocked."

Mr Le Vell was then asked by his barrister, Alisdair Williamson, defending, if he had done any of the things the complainant accuses him of.

He told the jury: "No, I promise you, never in a million years would I do anything like that, never."

Mr Williamson then asked him: "How do you feel about all this?" He said: "How do I feel? I'm devastated, lost. I don't understand where it's come from. It's left such a big hole in my life because of these allegations.

"I'm like a lost soul and I still want to get to the bottom of why this has happened to me, why I'm being accused of things, because I know none of it happened and I have been walking around for the last two years just not knowing."

In a heated exchange, prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC suggested Mr Le Vell was using his acting skills. …

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