Taxpayer may foot bill for Bill Roache rape trial

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CLEARED Coronation Street star Bill Roache will attempt to claim back the legal costs of his four-week rape trial from taxpayers.

His QC Louise Blackwell said the case against Roache was “nonsense”, with the trial haunted by the “spectre” of Jimmy Savile.

William Roache (third right) arrives at Preston Crown Court, with (left to right) Rosalind Bennett and her husband Linus Roache, James Roache, daughter Verity and her partner Paddy

William Roache (third right) arrives at Preston Crown Court, with (left to right) Rosalind Bennett and her husband Linus Roache, James Roache, daughter Verity and her partner Paddy

Miss Blackwell said she would be applying for the defendant’s legal costs to be paid by the taxpayer.

Roache has been cleared of all charges of sexually abusing five youngsters.

He was found not guilty by a jury of two counts of rape and four counts of indecent assault following a four week trial at Preston Crown Court.

The 81-year-old actor, who plays Ken Barlow in the ITV soap, was said to have used his fame and popularity to exploit the “starstruck” girls, aged 16 and under, between the mid-60s and early 70s.

But Roache told the jury he had no knowledge of any of the women and the alleged abuse simply did not happen.

Bill Roache not guilty of all charges