Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell charged with six counts of raping a child

Wednesday 27 February 2013 19.56
Michael Le Vell, otherwise known as Michael Turner, has been charged with 19 offences
Michael Le Vell, otherwise known as Michael Turner, has been charged with 19 offences

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has made his first appearance in court accused of child sex offences.

The British actor, who plays the role of car mechanic Kevin Webster in the ITV soap, appeared at Manchester Magistrates' Court under his real name of Michael Turner.

The 48-year-old has been charged with 19 offences, including six counts of raping a child, six allegations of indecently assaulting a child and seven counts of sexual activity with a child.

The alleged offences relate to one complainant and all took place between 2001 and 2010, the court was told.

During the eight-minute hearing, the defendant spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth.

Four members of his family sat towards the back of the court on seats usually reserved for officials as the public gallery was packed with members of the media.

District Judge Khalid Qureshi asked Mr Le Vell's solicitor, Richard Gowthorpe, if there was any indication of plea.

He replied: "No indication of plea today other than the fact that the charges are contested, and will be fully contested in the Crown Court."

The matter was adjourned to Manchester Crown Court on 20 March.

Mr Le Vell was bailed on 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.

The actor, who was following the proceedings from the dock, nodded to the judge when asked if he understood the conditions.

He made no comment as he left court.