Coronation Street works with Sophie Lancaster Foundation in hate crime storyline

Sherna Noah
·3-min read

Coronation Street has worked with the foundation created after the murder of Sophie Lancaster for an upcoming hate crime storyline.

Ms Lancaster was a 20-year-old goth, murdered in 2007 because of the way she dressed. She died in hospital 13 days after the unprovoked attack.

Her mother set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation in her daughter’s memory to focus on creating respect for, and understanding of, subcultures.

(ITV/Coronation Street/PA)
(ITV/Coronation Street/PA)

The ITV soap will tackle the issue of hate crime when characters Nina Lucas and Seb Franklin are subjected to an unprovoked violent attack.

The “hard-hitting” storyline will air next month.

Corrie producer Iain MacLeod said: “The issue of intolerance and hatred towards people from different cultures and subcultures is arguably more relevant now than it’s ever been.

“This incredibly hard-hitting storyline, which centres on a senseless act of violence, will draw in characters from all corners of our narrative universe and will, we hope, leave the audience with a clear message – everyone, regardless of how they look, how they dress or any aspect of how they live their life, should be treated with tolerance and respect.”

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He said: “The story will run across the rest of the year and beyond, with many twists and turns, and will be heartbreaking and dramatic in equal measure.

“In the end, the story will see an optimistic outcome emerge from the traumatic attack.”

Ms Lancaster’s mother Sylvia, who is chief executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, said: “I know first-hand the abuse, harassment and violence that alternative people suffer.

“Hate crime is usually directed at already stigmatised and minority groups and Sophie was assaulted three times before that final, sustained and brutal attack that took her life – but she never reported the earlier assaults.

“Coronation Street covering this issue means such a huge amount to me.

“We want alternative people to know that they shouldn’t be putting up with this prejudice and intolerance, and they should report it.”

Investitures at Buckingham Palace
Sophie Lancaster (Lancs Police)

She said: “We want the wider community to really appreciate the horror of this violence and understand that difference in itself, is not frightening, it just makes us all who we are.

“We will also use this platform to continue raising awareness of Sophie’s case with the police and judiciary to make sure that hate crime against alternative people is recognised and treated with the degree of severity that it deserves.”

Ms Lancaster was set upon by drunk teenagers in a park in Bacup, Lancashire.

The gang turned on her and her boyfriend, Rob Maltby, 21, who survived the attack, because of their alternative appearance.

Ms Lancaster was kicked and stamped on as she cradled the injured Mr Maltby.

Both fell into comas, but gap-year student Ms Lancaster never regained consciousness.

Corrie characters Nina, who has a Victorian goth identity, and Seb have fallen head-over-heels in love in recent weeks.

In the episodes, the couple are out walking when they find themselves subjected to an unprovoked attack.

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