Coronation Street star Bill Roache strenuously denies allegations he raped underage girl in 1967
Roache, 81, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire and was interviewed by police late into yesterday evening
The Coronation Street star Bill Roache today strenuously denied two historic rape allegations relating to an underage girl and said he was horrified by the events of the last twenty-four hours.
Roache, 81, was arrested at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, and was interviewed by police late into yesterday evening.
In a statement issued by his lawyers today, he said: "I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last twenty-four hours."
"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."
The Crown Prosecution Service has said he will face two charges of rape, and he will appear at Preston Magistrates’ Court on 14 May.
Roache, awarded an MBE in 2001, faces two allegations of raping the girl in Lancashire 46 years ago.
A statement from Lancashire Police said: "The offences are alleged to have been committed in Haslingden between April and July 1967 and to involve a girl aged 15 years."
"We have been reviewing evidence and providing early investigative advice to Lancashire Police since 1 March 2013.
"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with two offences of rape relating to a girl, aged 15, in 1967."
Roache - the world's longest-serving soap actor - will not appear in the show while investigations continue.
An ITV spokesman said last night: "Bill Roache will not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings are concluded."
Roache, wearing a dark pullover, checked shirt and jacket, returned to his home last night, around 14 hours after his initial arrest, in a car driven by his solicitor.
Roache collected an award from Guinness World Records in 2010 for his long service in Coronation Street, having joined in 1960 and appearing regularly ever since.
Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: "This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and our guidance for prosecutors on sexual offences.
"Mr Roache has a right to a fair trial and it is therefore very important that nothing is said, or reported, which could prejudice that trial. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Auction house to give away $1m masterpiece in charity raffle - and tickets are only $100 each
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 5 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ sign language interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
Mystery of Epping Forest 'big cat' is solved
French café starts charging extra to rude customers
Australia: Gay marriage law reversed by high court less than a week after first weddings
Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- < Previous
- Next >