Wednesday, December 11, 2002

The Mirror reports on the case of the Coronation Street actor who was knifed by a rentboy: In the witness box, John Savident, 62, who plays butcher Fred Elliott [his character is butcher than the actor? Duh!], strongly denied cruising gay bars.

Married with two children, he admitted meeting 30-year-old Smith in a well-known gay nightspot in Manchester and inviting him back to his flat at 2am for "theatrical discussions".

The Guardian takes up the story... Once at the married star's flat, they continued talking for at least three hours until the early hours of the following day.

Mr Savident told the court he had gone into his bedroom to charge his mobile phone and he was shoved face down on to his bed at knifepoint by Smith.

He said: "I suddenly felt somebody come up behind me and whizz me round so I was face down on the bed and then I felt a prick on my throat."

Back to The Mirror: Savident was left bleeding from two neck wounds, robbed of cash and valuables, and pleading with a 999 operator to keep the incident out of the papers.

In court Savident, once a policeman, denied intending having sex with Smith. He also denied not even asking Smith's name, saying: "He did tell it to me, but I forgot it."

Susan Klonin, for Smith, said: "You wouldn't need to know his name for a quick sexual interlude."

Savident said: "Not having been involved in any of those actions I wouldn't know." He rejected as "nonsense" that he made a move on Smith by touching his testicles in the toilet.

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