Coronation Street base storyline on hate-crime murder of Sophie Lancaster killed for dressing as a goth

The Coronation Street storyline closely mirrors the tragic killing of Sophie Lancaster (pictured right).

The mother of a young woman kicked to death for dressing as a goth says she is proud Coronation Street is basing a storyline on her daughter's murder.

Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend were attacked in a park in Bacup in 2007 simply because of how they dressed.

Now the soap is basing a story on the killing, with two of the characters Nina Lucas and Seb Franklin subjected to similar abuse.

The episodes were put together with the help of Sylvia Lancaster, who dedicated her life to becoming an anti-hate crime campaigner following her daughter's death.

Sylvia, who set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation charity, said says: "We just want people to be aware of hate crime.

"Actually I'm quite lucky that I do get to talk about it, and that people do listen because at the end of the day she's not gone yet is she? She's still here.

"Obviously it is emotional and I don't think I'll be watching that part of it."

The storyline will see Nina and boyfriend Seb in hospital following the attack. Credit: Coronation Street

The unprovoked attack on Nina and Seb as they take a walk along the canal and the aftermath of the harrowing events will explore social intolerance and prejudice.

Sylvia adds: "It has to be done with sensitivity and also allowing people to see the reality behind the story which Coronation Street are particularly good at."

Harry Visinoni, who plays Seb, says it was an honour to be trusted with the storyline.

He said: "It's so important and it's just been about telling it as truthfully as possible.

"They both get attacked because of the way Nina is, the fact she is a goth, it all comes from this place and a lack of understanding and these characters, Corey and the whole gang, they don't understand it and it leads to this horrific, horrific incident. It's horrible."

The plot, which unfolds from this 5 May, sees Nina and boyfriend Seb attacked for the way they dress. Credit: Coronation Street

Mollie Gallagher, who plays Nina, said working with the Sophie Lancaster Foundation was really important.

She said: "It was heartbreaking to hear, she [Sylvia] told us the whole story and listening to that it helped.

"To be promoting the message that hate crime isn't ok, to be making a change to the world, it's changing people - how amazing is that?

"If this story can encourage others to come forward then that's incredible."

Harry added: "It helped us to see the true emotional impact of something like this, I think for me personally it was something of an education on alternative people and people in the gothic culture because it was not something I had really connected with.

"I see this whole storyline as a part of a greater process of eradicating prejudice through education really."

Sophie Lancaster was murdered aged just 20.

Sophie died in Hope Hospital, Salford, on 24 August 2007, 13 days after the attack at Stubbylee Park in the early hours of 11 August. Her boyfriend Rob survived.

Ryan Herbert, 16 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty to murder, while Brendan Harris, 15 at the time of the attack, was found guilty of murder after a trial.

Both were jailed for life in April 2008.

Brothers Joseph Hulme and Danny Hulme, and Daniel Mallett, who all pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm, were also jailed.

Sophie Lancaster's mother Sylvia.

Sylvia was involved in creating Victorian goth Nina's character who first appeared in the soap in November 2019.

She says she was thrilled with the way the kind-hearted character has been embraced by the soap's fans.

Sylvia said: "It was lovely to speak to Mollie and to also see that actually she is quite alternative in real life.

"What’s interesting is that people have taken Nina to their hearts and that’s lovely to see because obviously people are looking behind the image, they’re looking behind the clothes and seeing the person, which is a massive part of work we do trying to get people to see underneath all of it, that they’re people just the same as you or I and that’s really important."