Nina Lucas – played by Mollie Gallagher – and her boyfriend Seb (Harry Visinoni) will find themselves the victims of an unprovoked violent attack in upcoming scenes.
The hard-hitting plot will explore the social intolerance and prejudice stigmatised minority groups face, as Nina’s alternative identity is what makes them a target.
The pair will be subjected to a violent assault echoing what happened to Sophie Lancaster in 2007, when she and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were set upon and beaten in a park simply because of the way they looked. Sophie sadly died from injuries sustained in the attack.
Sophie’s mother, Sylvia, subsequently launched the Sophie Lancaster Foundation – which Coronation Street has worked with on the upcoming storyline – to focus on creating respect for, and understanding of, subcultures in our communities.
“I know first-hand the abuse, harassment and violence that alternative people suffer. Coronation Street covering this issue means 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.
“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 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.” – Dr Sylvia Lancaster OBE, Chief Executive of the Sophie Lancaster Foundation
Nina and Seb have fallen head over heels in love in recent weeks, but her Victorian Goth identity has led to some prejudiced reactions, not least from Corey Brent (Maximus Evans), the boyfriend of Nina’s best friend Asha (Tanisha Gorey).
Airing next month, the scenes will see Corey and a gang of drunken mates including Kelly Neelan (Millie Gibson) round on Nina and Seb as they are out walking. As Corey starts hurling abuse, Kelly finds herself egged on by the crowd and slaps Nina. Seb and Nina hurry away as the gang gives chase and they find themselves subject to an unprovoked attack.
Abi (Sally Carman) and Kevin’s (Michael Le Vell) hen and stag night parties are brought to an abrupt halt when the police arrive with news of the attack. As Abi and Roy (David Neilson) rush to the hospital to be with Seb and Nina, the police start the investigation to get to the bottom of which of the teenage gang was responsible for the vicious assault that has left the young couple with horrific injuries.
The story will draw in the street’s other teens as Summer (Harriet Bibby), Asha and Amy (Elle Mulvaney) find themselves caught up in the aftermath as potential witnesses in the police inquiry.
“This 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.
“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.” – Iain MacLeod, Coronation Street Producer
The storyline will air in early May.