Veteran British actor Bill Roache struggled to contain his emotions after he was cleared of sex abuse charges, and insisted there were "no winners" in the case.
The star, a permanent fixture on hit U.K. soap opera Coronation Street for more than 50 years, was dramatically cleared of two rapes and four indecent assaults by a unanimous verdict on Thursday (06Feb14).
He was accused of attacking a 15-year-old girl in 1967, and molesting four others aged between 12 and 16 from 1965 to 1968, but was found not guilty by the jury.
Speaking on the steps of Preston Crown Court in England after the verdict, Roache said he was looking forward to returning to work on Coronation Street as he has been absent from the soap since his arrest in May last year (14).
He looked visibly moved as he thanked his family, friends, fans, and members of his legal team before saying, "In these situations there are no winners and I think we should all be much kinder to ourselves. And now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to get back to work."
Roache, 81, was also acquitted of one count of indecent assault midway through the trial last month (Jan14) when the judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to support the allegation.
In a statement from Britain's Itv network, which airs Coronation Street, a spokesman says, "We look forward to talking to Bill soon about his return to work."