Coronation Street star Bill Roache charged with five counts of indecent assault against four girls

The actor is due to appear at Preston Magistrates' Court in the morning

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Coronation Street actor William Roache has been charged with five offences of indecent assault involving four girls aged between 11 or 12 and 16 between the years of 1965 and 1968, say Lancashire Police.

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The 81-year-old actor, who has played Ken Barlow since the soap’s first episode in 1960, was arrested this morning after attending a police station in Lancashire by appointment and has now been bailed to attend Preston Magistrates’ Court tomorrow.

Mr Roache appeared in court in May in order to deny two separate counts of raping a girl in 1967.

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, today said: “We have carefully considered all the evidence gathered by Lancashire Police in relation to recent allegations from four complainants that William Roache indecently assaulted them in the 1960s.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Roache to be charged with five offences of indecent assault relating to four girls who were aged between 11 or 12 and 16 at the time that the alleged offences happened.

“We have been reviewing evidence and providing early investigative advice to Lancashire Police regarding these allegations, which were made to police after Mr Roache was charged with two offences of rape on 1 May 2013.”

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On May 2, after being charged with the initial offences, the actor said in a statement: “I am astounded and deeply horrified by the extraordinary events of the last 24 hours. 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.”