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
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect