Coronation Street actor Michael le Vell, known for playing Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, made his first appearance in court this morning accused of child sex offences.
The Altrincham star, 48, appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court under his real name of Michael Turner.
He was charged with 19 offences including six counts of raping a child, six allegations of indecently assaulting a child and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.
Wearing a white shirt and black tie, he spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth as the court was told the alleged offences relate to one complainant and all took place between 2001 and 2010.
District Judge Khalid Qureshi asked Le Vell’s solicitor, Richard Gowthorpe, if there was any indication of plea. He replied: “No indication of plea today other than the fact that the charges are contested and will be fully contested at the Crown Court.”
Le Vell was originally arrested in September 2011 and questioned over allegations of child sex offences, but the matter was dropped.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service has now said it is in the public interest to charge him with the current offences following a review of evidence.
Le Vell has been bailed until the case is resumed at Manchester Crown Court on March 20 on the terms that he surrenders his passport, does not contact named witnesses and does not have unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 14.
Sketch courtesy of Julia Quenzler, with thanks.