William Roache trial jury to retire

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The jury in the sex abuse trial of Coronation Street star William Roache is today due to retire to consider its verdicts.

Roache, 81, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, is accused of using his fame and popularity to exploit five youngsters between the mid-60s and early 70s.

His trial at Preston Crown Court, 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.

In denying all the offences, Roache said he did not even know any of his accusers and had never had a sexual interest in underage girls.

Roache, from Wilmslow, Cheshire, is accused of two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault on various dates between 1965 and 1972.

Mr Justice Holroyde yesterday told the jury of eight women and four men that he will complete his summing up this morning before sending them out for their deliberations.

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