Coronation Street actor Bill Roache makes first court appearance on rape charges

 

Veteran Coronation Street actor Bill Roache has made his first appearance in court accused of raping a 15-year-old girl.

Appearing at Preston Magistrates' Court, the 81-year-old confirmed his full name, address and date of birth.

He was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, on May 1 and was later charged with two counts of rape against his alleged victim in 1967.

Roache, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap for more than 50 years, was bailed to appear for a preliminary hearing at Preston Crown Court on 10 June.

In a statement issued earlier this month, Roache said: "I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead."

Roache, wearing a dark blue suit, white shirt and white-and-blue-striped tie, arrived at the court just before 9.10am and made no comment to camera crews and reporters.

He entered Court 3 at 10am and then appeared relaxed as he waited patiently for more than five minutes for District Judge Jane Goodwin to come in.

An usher led him into a witness box and the clerk asked for his full name.

He replied: “William Patrick Roache.”

He then confirmed his home address in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and his date of birth, before he was invited to sit down.

Joanna White, prosecuting, did not outline the details of the charges, other to explain that Roache faced two historic counts of rape.

She added: “These matters can only be dealt with by the Crown Court.”

The case will next be heard at Preston Crown Court by the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC.

There was no indication of plea from the actor.

Brian Russell, representing Roache, said: “Nothing to add at this stage.”

He was granted bail on condition of residence at his home or a family member's address in London, to have no unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and not to directly or indirectly approach two named persons.

District Judge Goodwin told Roache: “I must warn you if you breach any of the bail conditions you will be arrested.”

Roache said: “I do understand.”

Following the brief hearing, Roache was besieged by camera crews and reporters but again made no comment as he was led into a waiting car.

He has played Ken Barlow in the ITV1 soap since its launch.

In a statement issued earlier this month, Roache said he was “astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events” of his arrest and subsequent charging.

He added: “I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those people who have offered me their support and good wishes at this difficult time.”

Roache - the world's longest-serving soap actor - will not appear in the programme until legal proceedings are concluded, ITV said.

He collected an award from Guinness World Records in 2010 for his long service in Coronation Street, having joined in 1960 and appeared regularly ever since.

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones