Coronation Street star Bill Roache must wait six more months for trial on sex offence allegations

Roache, 81, has been bailed until his next court appearance in September

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The Independent Online

Coronation Street actor William Roache won't face trial until next year over allegations he raped five young girls in the 1960s.

The 81-year-old actor, who has played Ken Barlow since 1960, denies all charges.

Today he addressed Preston Crown Court only to confirm his name, and was granted conditional bail by the Recorder of Preston, Judge Anthony Russell QC. The conditions include no direct unsupervised contact with anyone under 16 and not to approach named witnesses.

Mr Roache was arrested on May 1 this year and charged with two counts of raping a 15-year-old girl in east Lancashire in 1967. And last week he faced fresh charges of five indecent assaults involving four girls aged between 12 and 16, in the Manchester area in 1965 and 1968.

His trial date was set for January 13. He was bailed until his next court appearance on September 2, when he will enter formal pleas.

Last week, Roache's lawyer said his client was looking forward to standing before a jury to “vigorously protest his innocence” over “deeply upsetting” child sex allegations.