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.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
These photographs released by the University of Maryland Medical Center show images of full face transplant recipient 37-year-old Richard Lee Norris of Hillsville, Virginia
mediaGQ front page features man who underwent full face transplant
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on