11 Sep 2013

Coronation Street actor cleared of rape

8:27 am on 11 September 2013

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell has been cleared of child sex abuse charges.

The actor, 48, who plays garage mechanic Kevin Webster in the long running British soap opera, was acquitted of 12 serious child sex offences at the Manchester Crown Court.

The jury took just over four hours to find him not guilty on all the charges he faced.

Le Vell had maintained his innocence throughout the eight-day trial.

Speaking outside the court, he thanked his family and ITV for their support, the BBC reports.

"Delighted obviously now, it's a big weight off everyone's shoulders and I'd just like to say thank you all for being patient," he said.

Le Vell is now expected to return to Coronation Street. He has not appeared in any episodes during the legal proceedings.