Coronation Street actor Bill Roache appeared at Preston Crown Court this morning to face historical sex offence charges against five girls.
The 81-year-old, who has played Ken Barlow in the ITV soap since it began in 1960, was first arrested at his Cheshire home in May and was subsequently charged with two counts of rape of a 15-year-old girl in Haslingden in 1967.
Last week, he was charged with a further five cases of indecent assault involving four girls aged from 12 to 16 – however he says he ‘vigorously protests his innocence’ at the allegations.
He was bailed this morning to appear again on September 2, with a provisional trial date set for January 13.
The fresh charges put to Roache are two indecent assaults in relation to a 14-year-old girl and one to a 16-year-old girl in 1965.
As well as one indecent assault in relation to a girl aged 13 or 14 in 1968 and one indecent assault in relation to a girl aged 11 or 12 in the same year.
Roache will not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings have concluded.
Image courtesy of ITV via ITV News Player, with thanks.