UK soap star cleared of child sex charges

2013-06-11 12:20
London - Former Coronation Street star Andrew Lancel has been cleared of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old boy.

The 42-year-old actor - who played Frank Foster in the ITV soap - was accused of four charges of indecent assault against the teenager in 1994 when the youngster was attending a theatre group, but the jury took just 29 minutes to clear him of all counts on Monday.

Upon hearing the verdict at Liverpool Crown Court, Andrew's wife Louise burst into tears in the public gallery and Andrew, from Gateacre in Liverpool, bit his lip before looking to the ceiling.

Pleaded not guilty

Andrew - who was on trial under his real name Andrew Watkinson - was charged last November, but pleaded not guilty.

In December 2013, the actor - who also appeared as Detective Inspector Neil Manson in The Bill - quit a starring role in pantomime Sleeping Beauty in Liverpool and vowed to clear his name.

He left Coronation Street in March 2012 when his character was murdered by his own mother.