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Michael Le Vell Trial 'Is Strange Case Of Child Rape That Doesn't Add Up' Court Hears

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MICHAEL LE VELL
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell smokes a cigarette outside Manchester Crown Court where he is on trial for a series of alleged child sex offences. | PA

UPDATE: Michael Le Vell cleared of all rape charges

Michael Le Vell's trial has been a "strange case of child rape" and one that "doesn't add up" Manchester Crown Court has heard.

Alisdair Williamson told the eight women and four men on the jury the case had no evidence of blood or semen or injuries to the alleged victim.

"Welcome to the prosecution's hall of mirrors," he told the jury, "where up is down and left is right."

Earlier the court had heard from the prosecution, who said the accuser was a "bubbly, lovely, naive" girl and "not twisted".

Prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC told the court her client had no reason to lie and that her allegations were the "uncomfortable truth".

But Mr Williamson suggested the girl had given differing accounts of the frequency and details of the alleged abuse to her mother, her friends and to the police.

"You are going to throw a man's life away? You are going to cast him to the outer darkness of being a child rapist?" Mr Williamson continued.

"Where is the consistency, the solidity of evidence on which you are going to be sure?

"Not there, simply not there."

He accused the girl of making "silly" or "ridiculous" details in her story that "doesn't add up".

He added: "There's an agonising lack of detail from this witness.

"She can't give you details because it did not happen and that's why her story varies according to who she's talking to."

Mr Williamson said the defendant was a "drunk, bad husband and inadequate father" whose behaviour was sometimes "terrible", but he is not a child rapist.

He said no child pornography was found on Le Vell's computer, no adults he knew were saying he was "odd" or they felt "uneasy" around him - "the sort of evidence these courts hear all the time", the barrister added.

"Nothing to support this girl's inconsistent, incoherent and unbelievable account."

Mr Williamson said the girl had been described as a "lovely" and polite, well-brought up youngster.

"I'm sure she is," he said, "but she's damaged."

He continued: "This has been, you may have thought, a prosecution by cliche.

"Mr Turner drinks a lot, he has his demons. What's that supposed to mean?

"He has troubles. What's that supposed to mean?

"That's all the Crown can come up with for a motive."

Mr Williamson asked jurors to find the prosecution's "killer point" to convince them the defendant was guilty.

"He's a man, a weak man, a stupid man, a drunk man, but nothing in this case has taken you anywhere near, I suggest, the level of certainty you would need so you can look in the mirror in the days that come and say 'I was sure'.

"Without forensic evidence, without blood, without ejaculates, without consistency, 'I was sure'.

"I suggest you can't be.

"On each of these counts, the only fair, the only right thing to do is not guilty."

Summing up the trial, Judge Michael Henshell said both Le Vell and the alleged victim were distressed at times as they gave evidence.

But he told them: "Do not allow sympathy to cloud your judgment for either side."

Signs of distress in the witness box were not a reliable guide to the truth, he said.

The judge said the jury's assessment of the alleged victim was "critical in this case".

He said if the Crown was right and she was a truthful witness then she was someone who was recalling traumatic events from an early age.

The other side of the coin was that she was "dishonest" and had come to court to "quite literally destroy" the life of the defendant, the court heard.

The jury was sent out at 3.51pm to consider its verdicts.