Bill Roache talks nerve-wracking sex abuse trial
11 June 2018 - 10:00 AM

Bill Roache talks nerve-wracking sex abuse trial

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ill Roache thought he had been found guilty of some charges during his historic sex abuse trial because he didn't hear the "not" in some of the not guilty verdicts.

The 86-year-old star was cleared of two rapes and four indecent assaults after a trial at Preston Crown Court in February 2014 following an initial May 2013 arrest, and despite being concerned he had been found guilty of some counts, he soon "realised all was well" when he saw his daughter Verity, 37, in tears.

Recalling being in court during his 2014 trial in his new book "Life and Soul" - serialised in the Daily Mirror newspaper - he said: "I spoke the truth and just hoped that it would all come out okay.

"John thought the jury could be out for days, but they came back in under three hours with unanimous verdicts.

"When they were being read out, I didn't actually hear the "not" on some of them, just the "guilty". But I saw Verity was crying. Then I realised all was well. And that was that. It was all over. It was time to get back to work.

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"As I said at the time, in that situation there were no winners. I don't feel any resentment. We have to be forgiving, because forgiving releases us."

Bill had 14 months away from "Corrie" between his arrest and trial, and while he was left devastated by the false allegations, the actor "quite enjoyed" not having to learn a script.

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He added: "We found the trial wasn't going to be for nearly a year, and of course Granada had to suspend me, but they still supported me right through the case. They were wonderful. I had nothing but support from my colleagues and friends, too.

"Several of my co-stars were to be character witnesses. If you believe in someone, you support them no matter what. Of course, I missed work.

"I was out of the Street for around 14 months, but it was the first time in however many years - 54 or so - I didn't have a script to learn. I must say I quite enjoyed that.

"Looking back, I could see that year out as a gift. I was never alone and I had more time with my family than ever before. It was obviously a very frightening time for them, but they were wonderful - so loving and supportive. They virtually gave up their careers during that time."

Bill's "Corrie" storyline during that time saw Ken leave Weatherfield in mid-2013 to look after his grandson Adam Barlow (Sam Robertson) before returning in August 2014 after Bill was cleared of rape and indecent assault charges.

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