Le Vell’s accuser ‘not twisted’

The “courage” of the alleged sex abuse victim of Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell must be marked by guilty verdicts if she was telling the truth, jurors have been told.

His accuser had no reason to lie and the only explanation for her allegations was that it was the “uncomfortable truth”, the court heard.

Delivering her closing speech, prosecutor Eleanor Laws QC urged the jury of eight women and four men to concentrate closely on the evidence of the alleged victim.

“You saw her as bubbly, lovely, naive, so lovely,” she said. “She was not twisted.”

The actor, who has played garage mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV1 soap for 30 years, is being tried under his real name Michael Turner at Manchester Crown Court.

He is accused of sexually assaulting and raping a young girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

Le Vell, 48, denies 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.

Miss Laws told the jury: “You are the most important people in the courtroom.

“It is you who decide the facts. At the end of the day it is your collective decision that is important.”

Asking jurors to disregard media reports, she said: “Concentrate on what you do know because you, members of the jury, actually saw (the alleged victim) give evidence. No-one else in the courtroom did apart from the judge and barristers.”

She said they may have “strong feelings” about these type of allegations.

“For example, before we started this trial, some of you may have thought there seems to be a lot of prosecutions of celebrities,” she said. “‘Is there some kind of witch-hunt? Has the world gone mad?’ No-one likes to think that someone they liked or admired has done anything like this.”

She said they may also think that it was “such an easy allegation to make” but “difficult to defend”.

But crimes like this did take place and could go undetected for years, she said.