Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson says he has to “stand by the story that we told” during the recent Carla Connor rape trial, but admitted that the show portrayed some court procedures inaccurately.
The ITV1 soap has been questioned for scenes that depicted Carla (Alison King) being confronted by her attacker, Frank Foster (Andrew Lancel), outside the court. Collinson was criticised at the annual conference of St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester by delegates who claimed some rape victims might be less likely to come forward because of the scenes shown in Coronation Street.
St Mary’s Bernie Ryan said: “We have to put a lot of reassurance into the fact that it was a dramatisation of a courtroom event and that there are support services to make sure they don’t come across the perpetrator and are supported throughout the court process.”
Collinson replied: “I do agree that there were some procedural things in the court that we did get wrong.
“In a show like ours, we are constantly balancing the needs of the drama against the needs of accuracy, and I suppose I would have to agree that there were some procedural things in the court that our attention has been drawn to subsequently and I can only apologise for that.
“I have to stand by the story that we told and I think we did a good thing in the main.”
St Mary’s, who have provided plot advice to both Coronation Street and Hollyoaks on rape storylines, offer support to more than 1,000 people a year affected by sexual violence.
In the immediate aftermath of Carla Connor’s attack, aired in September, the Rape Crisis helpline saw an 800 per cent increase in volume of calls.