William Roache trial: Jurors warned to leave emotions aside as trial nears end
Monday 03 February 2014
Jurors in the trial of Coronation Street star William Roache were told today to leave emotions aside in dealing with a "head-on conflict of evidence".
Roache, 81, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, is accused of using his fame and popularity to exploit "starstruck" youngsters in the late 60s and early 70s.
His trial at Preston Crown Court, now in its fourth week, has heard from five women who claim he sexually assaulted them when they were 16 or under, either at Granada Studios in Manchester, in his car, or at properties he owned between 1965 and 1972.
In denying all the offences, Roache says he did not even know any of his accusers and had never had a sexual interest in under-age girls.
Summing up the case, Mr Justice Holroyde told the jury of eight women and four men: "There is a head-on conflict of evidence.
"The principal question you will have to ask yourself on each of the charges will be a stark one. Are you sure that Mr Roache committed the sexual act which the complainant says he did?
"Emotions must play no part in your decisions. It would only distract from your solemn duty in accordance with the oath or affirmation you made at the start of the trial to return true verdicts according to the evidence.
"You must put to one side any feelings of sympathy or anger you may have, in one direction or another.
"What is needed is a cool-headed appraisal of the evidence you have heard.
"So concentrate on those aspects of the evidence which you think are important to your verdict.
"The seriousness of the case is obvious but the reality is that jurors up and down the country have to, and do, decide serious cases, so do not be daunted by your task."
He told jurors not to rely on any assumptions they may have made about such cases.
"It is the court's experience that there is no stereotype of a sexual offender or a victim of sexual offence or how a victim of a sexual offence behaves," he said.
"It would be wrong for you to assume that a victim of a sexual offence would necessarily report it at the first opportunity or necessarily remember every detail of it for the rest of her life.
"The simple reality is that sexual offences can be committed in all kinds of circumstances, by and against all kinds of people."
He urged them to disregard any assumptions when deciding "where the truth lies".
Roache, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, is accused of two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault involving the complainants.
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers