Corrie's Nina and Seb hate crime plot was inspired by tragic real-life murder

Coronation Street fans were bawling after watching the heartbreaking scenes of Seb Franklin and Nina Lucas being attacked on the show this week.

On Wednesday’s episode, we saw how Seb and Nina were attacked by Corey Brent and his gang of drunken mates.

Things took a darker turn on Friday when Seb died from the horrific injuries he received from the hate crime.

However, most viewers may not know the storyline was in fact inspired by a real-life tragic murder.

Seb and Nina, as horrific as it was, are fictional but the stories behind the inspiration are not.

Sophie Lancaster and her boyfriend Robert Maltby were injured in 2007, and Sophie, 20, was beaten to death because of the way she dressed.

Nina Lucas (played by Mollie Gallagher) in hospital on Corrie
Nina Lucas (played by Mollie Gallagher) in hospital on Corrie

On August 11, 2007, she and her boyfriend Robert were assaulted by a group of youths while walking through Stubbylee Park in Rossendale.

The thugs initially attacked Robert and when he lost consciousness, Sophie – a gap-year student from Lancashire – was cradling his head on her lap.

The aggressors then launched a brutal attack on her.

The pair received serious head injuries and their faces left swollen and bruised.

Sophie Lancaster, 20, was beaten to death by a gang of thugs
Sophie Lancaster, 20, was beaten to death by a gang of thugs

Robert was left in a coma with internal bleeding and gradually recovered, although he lost his memory of the time leading up to and during the attack.

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However, Sophie’s injuries were so horrific she died in hospital 13 days later.

Mum Sylvia set up the Sophie Lancaster Foundation while her daughter was lying in her hospital bed.

She said: “I was furious that people are so intolerant of people who look different and decided that when she was better, Sophie would come into schools with me and they’d see her, and they’d see she was lovely and just a normal person and they’d get it.

Sophie and Robert's story was told on the cobbles
Sophie and Robert’s story was told on the cobbles

“They’d see how difference is nothing to be afraid of, it’s just what makes us all who we are.

“When we lost her, I was even more determined that this work was needed. So, it’s what we do.”

Their families describe the couple as ‘goths’ and said they were targeted because they ‘stood out’.

Five teenage boys in connection with the savage attack were charged with Sophie’s murder.

ITV believed it was time to tell their story on the show
ITV believed it was time to tell their story on the show

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At the beginning of the trial in 2008, all five boys pleaded guilty to the charge of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Ryan Herbert, then 15, pleaded guilty to murder, and then 16-year-old Brendan Harris pleaded not guilty but was later convicted of murder.

The judge allowed their names be made public to make an example of them despite having anonymity due to automatic court restrictions in place to protect teenagers.

They were both sentenced to life in jail, with Harris serving at least 18 years behind bars and Herbert at least 16 years and three months.


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