Michael La Vell
Michael La Vell

Coronation Street actor Michael Le Vell battled through a media scrum to face paedophile charges in court this morning.

Le Vell, real name Michael Turner, faces six counts of raping a child among 19 child sex offences allegedly committed between 2001 and 2010.

The defendant has played Corrie car mechanic Kevin Webster for nearly 30 years, but has stepped away from the long-running soap since being charged.

Appearing in the dock at Manchester Magistrates Court, Le Vell listened to the grim charges levelled at him in stony silence.

He spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth as four members of his family watched proceedings from the public gallery at the rear of the court room.

Le Vell did not enter a plea but will fight the charges, his lawyer Richard Gowthorpe said.

When asked by District Judge Khalid Qureshi if there was any indication of plea, Gowthorpe replied: "No indication of plea today other than the fact that the charges are contested and will be fully contested in the Crown Court."

Le Vell had to surrender his passport in order to win bail because he could potentially flee the country.

As he left court, Le Vell lashed out at photographers, saying: "You must have enough pictures of me by now."

He vowed to clear his name of allegations when he was charged last month.

"I would like to make it quite clear that following the serious allegations that have been brought against me on Thursday 14th February 2013, I am innocent of these charges and intend to fight them vigorously," he said.

"I will now put all my efforts into clearing my name and proving my innocence."

New charges against Le Vell were levelled following a review of a previous investigation by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

An ITV spokesman said: "Given the serious nature of these charges, Michael Le Vell will not be appearing in Coronation Street pending the outcome of legal proceedings. It would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this time."