Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has appeared in court today for the first time facing six child sex charges.
Le Vell, who plays mechanic, Kevin Webster in the long-running ITV soap, has been accused of 19 child sex offences. Under his real name, Michael Turner, he appeared at the Manchester Magistrates' Court.
The alleged offences relate to one complaint and all have said to take place between 2001 and 2010, the court was told today. Police first questioned him in September 2011 over the alleged offences but the matter was later dropped.
However Le Vell has vowed to clear his name and prove his innocence, he said: “I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me on Thursday, February 14, 2013, I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously.”
Le Vell was bailed on the condition that he surrenders his passport, does not contact named witnesses and does not have unsupervised contact with any child under the age of 14.
ITV have since dropped the actor from any further episodes of the show after the charges became public. An ITV spokesman said:
"Given the serious nature of these charges, Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street pending the outcome of the legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
Le Vell is due to appear at Manchester Crown Court on March 20.
What do you think of the allegations against the Corrie star?