Bill Roache denies rape charges

Police officers outside the gates leading onto the driveway of the home of Coronation Street actor Bill Roache in Cheshire after it was announced that he has been arrested on suspicion of an historic allegation of a sexual assault. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 1, 2013. See PA story POLICE Roache. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
Police officers outside the gates leading onto the driveway of the home of Coronation Street actor Bill Roache in Cheshire after it was announced that he has been arrested on suspicion of an historic allegation of a sexual assault. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday May 1, 2013. See PA story POLICE Roache. Photo credit should read: Dave Thompson/PA Wire
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Ilkeston-born actor William Roache has ‘strenuosly denied’ charges that he raped a 15-year-old girl in 1967.

Speaking this morning, the Coronation Street star, 81, said: “I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last twenty-four hours.

William Roache.

William Roache.

“I strenuously deny the allegations and will now focus my full attention on fighting to preserve my innocence in the challenging times ahead.

“I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all those people who have offered me their support and good wishes at this difficult time.”