Hollyoaks villain Laurie Shelby (Kyle Pryor) has inflicted a reign of terror over the village, subjecting wife Sinead Shelby (Stephanie Davis) to a horrifying rape ordeal while also manipulating colleague Sienna Blake (Anna Passey) with sexual harassment and workplace bullying.
But the toxic teacher has managed to escape punishment despite Sinead reporting him to the police and Sienna filing a harassment case at Hollyoaks High. Sinead is now in prison having lied about evidence of the assault, misguidedly hoping it would help her case, and Sienna has lost her suit with no further action being taken.
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Fans are desperate for Laurie to face the consequences of his actions, as Sinead rots behind bars – branded a liar. We caught up with the cast on the British Soap Awards red carpet – where Hollyoaks won the coveted Best Soap prize – to hear about the reasons why there may be a way to go before that happens.
"Laurie is walking free and it feels unfair, but it does reflect some reality," reveals Passey. "Viewers are frustrated, characters are frustrated, but that happens quite a lot. You want to scream at the injustice of it. Hollyoaks sometimes rights an injustice and sometimes leaves it as a reflection of what can happen, which is what makes this storyline so interesting."
Pryor acknowledges his alter ego firmly believes he's got away with his crimes but suggests the slow burning plot is heading towards another twist. "He currently feels master of his domain – Laurie has got what he wants but it's only a matter of time before his story starts to unravel."
Davis, who has publicly spoken of her real-life experience of being in an abusive relationship, admitted filming the scenes has been understandably harrowing in light of her personal connection to the subject matter.
"All of it has been quite hard to go over again, but work and my boyfriend Owen (Warner, who plays Romeo Quinn) have been supportive and I'm really proud of the storyline.
"Like anyone, Sinead just wants justice and hopefully that will happen. The immediate future for Sinead is quite turbulent and it will be frustrating to watch."
Asked about his future on the show, Pryor hinted there was an end point but wouldn't divulge exact details…
"The feedback so far echoes the fact people are shouting at the TV for justice to be done, but that will make the payoff even more rewarding.
"Laurie has been called the most hated man in the village which I'm happy about, because that’s exactly what I wanted to achieve in terms of the work I’ve put into the character. I can't give away too much but I think the empire he has created is inevitably going to unravel at a certain stage.
"The more he weaves this web of deceit, people will rally around and want to see his ultimate demise…"
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