Michael Le Vell: Coronation Street actor was 'a drunk, bad husband and inadequate father' - but not a child rapist

Jurors at Manchester Crown Court heard impassioned closing speeches from both the defence and the prosecution on the last day of the Coronation Street star's child sex trial

Jurors in the child sex trial of Michael Le Vell were told by the defence that the Coronation Street actor was a “drunk, bad husband and inadequate father”, but not a child rapist.

The actor, who has played garage mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV1 soap for 30 years, is accused of sexually assaulting and raping a young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Le Vell, 48, denies five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child, and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

The last day of the high profile trial saw impassioned closing speeches from both the defence and prosecution at Manchester Crown Court.

Eleanor Laws, QC, prosecuting, said of the witness: “What was your reaction to listening to her? Was she a wicked, convincing liar, or did you sit there and listen to it and think she was telling the truth? Because that is all she could do.

Speaking to the jury of eight women and four men, Laws said it was “absurd” to think Le Vell’s alleged victim had come up with “a pack of devious lies” as an act of revenge.

“You saw her as bubbly, lovely, naive, so lovely,” she said. “She was not twisted.”

In response, Alisdair Williams, defending, asked the jury: “Are you going to take a man’s life away from him? Are you going to cast him to the outer darkness of being a child rapist?

Williams mocked the prosecution’s line of attack, saying: “Welcome to the prosecution’s hall of mirrors, where up is down and right is left.”

He said there was “an agonising lack of detail from the witness” and said it was a “strange case of child rape” given there was no evidence of blood or semen or injuries to the alleged victim.

He summarised that the evidence held against Le Vell was: “Inconsistent, incoherent and unbelievable.”

Williams also said there was little context to suggest that Le Vell was a child rapist. He said no child pornography was found on Le Vell's computer, and that no adults Le Vell was in contact with ever called him “odd”, or said that they felt “uneasy” around him.

Summing up the trial, Judge Michael Henshell told the jury before they retired: “Do not allow sympathy to cloud your judgment for either side.”

He recalled that both Le Vell and the witness had been distressed while giving evidence but told the jurors to put this out of their minds. Signs of distress in the witness box were not a reliable guide to the truth, he said.

The court awaits a verdict from the jury.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
Man taking selfie in front of car
health
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
Life and Style
food + drink
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore