Manchester

William Roache in court over indecent assault charges

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Media captionWilliam Roache's lawyer said his client would "vigorously protest his innocence"

Coronation Street actor William Roache has appeared in court to face charges of indecently assaulting four girls aged between 12 and 16 in the 1960s.

Mr Roache, 81, of Wilmslow, Cheshire, spoke to confirm his details and his lawyer said he would be pleading not guilty to the charges at crown court.

Outside Preston Magistrates Court, Brian Russell said Mr Roache would "vigorously protest his innocence".

The actor was previously charged with two counts of rape of a girl aged 15.

He will next appear at Preston Crown Court on Monday.

The five latest charges relate to a period between 1965 and 1968, when the assaults are alleged to have been committed in the Manchester area.

The two rape charges relate to allegations of offences committed in 1967.

Before the hearing, Mr Russell said the charges had been "deeply upsetting" for Mr Roache.

An ITV spokesman previously confirmed the actor, who has been in the soap since it started in 1960, will not be appearing in Coronation Street until legal proceedings had concluded.

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