'Coronation Street' criticised over 'disgrace' verdict in hate crime murder trial

·Contributor
·3-min read

Watch: Corrie reveals verdict in Corey and Kelly's trial

Coronation Street fans were upset by the verdict of Corey Brent and Kelly Neelan's murder trial, with some threatening to boycott the popular soap.

Corey and Kelly stood accused of the murder of Seb Franklin, who died after being savagely beaten by Corey in shocking scenes broadcast in May.

The attack took place after Corey and his friends mocked the goth style of Seb's girlfriend Nina Lucas.

Read more: Seb actor's girlfriend was used for some hospital scenes

Friday night's episode saw Kelly convicted of the crime, despite her lack of involvement, while Corey walked free from the court room. 

Corey Brent appears to have got away with murder in 'Coronation Street'. (ITV)
Corey Brent appears to have got away with murder in 'Coronation Street'. (ITV)

Viewers were outraged at the surprising result, with some fans on Twitter expressing surprise at this given the attack was based on the real-life murder of Sophie Lancaster in 2007.

Other fans, however, pointed out that this storyline is likely to continue and that Corey will ultimately face justice for his crimes — as Lancaster's killers eventually did.

Read more: Corrie fans offered chance to stay in the street overnight

One viewer wrote that the show had got it "completely wrong" and added: "That verdict when the story is based on a true crime is a disgrace."

Another said the verdict was "disrespectful and misleading, and has the potential to put off victims from reporting incidents".

The story was accused of being a "mockery" of Lancaster's murder and others said ITV was "dragging it out" in order to secure ratings.

Read more: Corrie star reveals messages from online trolls

In 2008, Ryan Herbert admitted to his part in Lancaster's murder and Brendan Harris was convicted at trial, with both teenagers receiving life sentences.

Three other teenage defendants were jailed after they admitted committing grievous bodily harm with intent on Lancaster's partner, Robert Maltby.

The murder of Sophie Lancaster inspired this storyline in 'Coronation Street'. (Dave Thompson/PA Images via Getty Images)
The murder of Sophie Lancaster inspired this storyline in 'Coronation Street'. (Dave Thompson/PA Images via Getty Images)

ITV has worked with The Sophie Lancaster Foundation — which aims to challenge prejudice towards alternative subcultures — throughout the storyline.

Speaking in May, producer Iain MacLeod said: "It was apparent that the foundation has an agenda that we wanted to get behind, in terms of changing the way society deals with this kind of intolerance. 

"It enabled us to not only tell a good story, but hopefully change people’s perceptions about alternative cultures.”

Harry Visinoni, who played Seb, said his involvement in the show presented him with "a big responsibility to tell this story and share its ideas as truthfully as possible".

Watch: Nina and Seb attacked on Coronation Street

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