British actress Helen Flanagan has been forced to defend her actions after she insisted that paedophile Tv presenter Stuart Hall should be shown "respect" because of his age.
The former Coronation Street star insisted that the ex-It's A Knockout host should be shielded from the media furore after the 83-year-old admitted to inappropriately kissing and groping girls aged between nine and 17 years old in a series of offences dating back to 1967.
Trying to defend the veteran Tv star, she told Britain's The Sun newspaper, "I just think that's an 83-year-old man, you could give him a heart attack. Have some respect."
Her comments have sparked a backlash among fans and the actress took to her Twitter.com page on Sunday (05May13) in a bid to explain her remarks to the publication, insisting she was just upset over the recent arrest of her former Coronation Street co-star Bill Roache, who has since been charged with two counts of rape dating back to the 1960s.
She writes, "With regards to the story in the sun (sic). I was having interviews all Thursday, an interview finished with a lady from the sun and I made a passing comment basically about all these older men been (being) arrested for such terrible crimes. I don't know anything about the Stuart hall (sic) case.
"Things like that I find too horrendous to read. To be honest I was thinking about bill roache (sic) who has recently been arrested it upset me as I could never believe this to be true he's 83 years old must be traumatic for him someone I've always had respect for and I believe him to be innocent. I just wanted to explain because this constant abuse is upsetting."
Hall, who was arrested over the allegations in December (12), pleaded guilty to 14 charges of indecent assault during his appearance at Preston Crown Court in England on Thursday (02May13).
Roache was taken into custody in a separate case on Wednesday (01May13). He has denied the charges against him.