Louise Blackwell QC successfully defends William Roache
William Roache Has Been Acquitted Of Two Counts Of Rape And Four Indecent Assaults.
Following a three week trial at Preston Crown Court the Jury unanimously found the famous soap star not guilty of all charges.
Extract from BBC News:
Mr Roache, 81, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, was found not guilty of two rapes and four indecent assaults after a trial at Preston Crown Court.
Five women had claimed he assaulted them when they were aged 16 or under between 1965 and 1971.
Outside court, he said: "In these situations there are no winners... we should be much kinder to ourselves."
He added: "If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to work."
His family, who had accompanied him to court throughout the trial, cried with relief as the verdicts were read out.
Bill Roache showed no emotion as he was cleared of rape and indecent assault, but his family did.
Audible sighs of relief could be clearly heard from his sons, as six times the jury foreman clearly said "not guilty".
The sighs were followed by sobs. Tears of relief as their father was cleared. Moments later the 81-year-old actor was told by the judge he was free to leave the dock.
Bill Roache then walked into the arms of his family, who have been here every day presenting a united front.
A pensioner brought to the brink of disgrace is a free man. Free to resume his life and role in Coronation Street.
Mr Roache was previously cleared of a fifth indecent assault charge after the judge said there was a lack of evidence.
During the three-week trial, Mr Roache denied knowing any of his accusers and said he had never had a sexual interest in under-age girls.
The women had claimed he indecently assaulted them in the toilets and dressing rooms at Granada Studios in Manchester, as well as in his car.
One woman alleged he raped her twice at his homes in Haslingden, Lancashire, on separate occasions.
The prosecution had accused Mr Roache of using his fame and popularity to exploit the girls and said that, if the actor was telling the truth, he was the victim of a "huge, distorted and perverse witch-hunt".
But Louise Blackwell QC, defending, said the women's evidence "lacked sense and credibility".