02/09/2013 09:07 BST | Updated 02/09/2013 12:40 BST

Michael Le Vell, Coronation Street Star, 'Raped Girl As She Held Teddy Bear'

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell arriving at Manchester Magistrates Court where he will appear for a further hearing over alleged child sex offences.
Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell arriving at Manchester Magistrates Court where he will appear for a further hearing over alleged child sex offences.

Coronation Street star Michael Le Vell told a young girl to "keep calm" as he raped her as she clutched a teddy bear, a court has been told.

The actor allegedly told the girl, "It's Okay, just keep calm, stay asleep... I'm going to get rid of the evil," as he sexually abused the youngster, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Le Vell, 48, who plays car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, is facing 12 charges in all - five counts of rape, three of indecent assault, two counts of sexual activity with a child and two of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.

Le Vell, who is on trial under his real name of Michael Turner, denies the offences and shook his head saying "not guilty" in a strong voice as the charges were put to him before his trial began.

After 12 jurors were selected, two members asked to be excused and two replacements were selected for a jury of eight women and four men.

Judge Michael Henshell warned them: "The man on trial is Michael Turner, not the character he plays."

Eleanor Laws QC, prosecuting, then began the opening address, telling the jury Le Vell was a "heavy drinker".

She said: "There is no room in your deliberations for any form of emotion or sympathy or prejudice.

"You must judge the facts of this case using your own common sense."

Ms Laws said the abuse began when Le Vell slipped his hand under the girl's clothing.

Afterwards Le Vell seemed happy, "as if it was giving him pleasure", the jury heard.

The abuse progressed to Le Vell allegedly forcing the girl to touch him, with her "too frightened" to do anything, the court heard.

"Interlocking her hands in his, he took control of her hand and put it down his underwear," Ms Laws told the court.

The first time he raped the girl, she clutched one teddy bear while Le Vell put another teddy bear over her mouth, it is alleged.

"It's okay. I'm making the evil stop once and for all now. It'll be fine," he allegedly told the girl.

He then raped the youngster, kissed her on the cheek and left, the court heard.

The jury heard that on another occasion Le Vell raped the girl orally.

"He did not say anything this time, and after he had finished, he just got up and left," Ms Laws said. "She recalls that afterwards she felt sick," the prosecutor added.

The actor, who was with his legal team and a minder, said "Good morning" to the media as he arrived at court.

Le Vell, who lives in Hale, Cheshire, is one of TV's most famous faces after playing Kevin Webster for the past 30 years.

Originally from Manchester, he began his showbusiness career at the Oldham Theatre Workshop after taking an interest in amateur dramatics while at school.

He first joined Coronation Street in 1983 and quickly endeared himself to fans, who have followed the trials and tribulations of Kevin, from Brian Tilsley's apprentice mechanic through to his stormy marriage to Sally, played by Sally Dynevor, and fathering two girls, Rosie and Sophie.

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

His trial before Judge Michael Henshell is scheduled to last around two weeks.

The trial continues.

Comments are closed on this story for legal reasons