'Corrie' actor says he will fight charges


Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell, who has been charged with child sex offences, has said in a statement that he is innocent of all charges and will “fight them vigorously”.

Le Vell (48), whose real name is Michael Turner, is accused of 19 sex offences including raping a child, indecently assaulting a child and sexual activity with a child.

He said: “I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me . . . I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously.

“I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence. I thank my friends, family and fans for their continued support.

“I would ask now for time to concentrate on preparing my defence with my legal team.”

ITV has already said the actor will not be appearing in any further episodes of the soap pending the outcome of legal proceedings.

“Given the serious nature of these charges,” an ITV spokesman said, “Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

Le Vell, a stalwart on the popular series in his role as Kevin Webster, will appear in court in two weeks, Greater Manchester Police said.

He was first arrested in September 2011 and questioned over alleged child sex offences, but the matter was later dropped. – (PA)