A rape storyline on Coronation Street has helped put a child sex attacker behind bars.
The victim, now aged 17, has revealed that the ITV1 soap’s portrayal of character Carla Connor’s ordeal at the hands of fiance Frank Foster encouraged him to come forward and speak of his torment over the abuse.
Daniel Bird, 24, of Sale, Greater Manchester, was found guilty of four counts of rape and was jailed for four years at Manchester Crown Court today.
Following sentencing, Bird’s victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said: “I just decided to tell somebody and get it off my chest. It had been on my mind all those years and finally I had the courage to tell someone.
“The emotions that Carla was going through reminded me of how I felt. When I saw that people supported her and that people believed in her, I felt that might happen to me as well.
“Coronation Street did a good thing with this storyline. If they hadn’t done that story, I might never have come forward with this. It’s encouraged me and it’s helped me.”
The harrowing scenes starring Alison King and Andrew Lancel were watched by 10 million viewers.
A spokeswoman for Coronation Street said: “Having worked closely with the St Mary’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Manchester on this storyline, we are pleased that the portrayal and subsequent aftermath of Carla’s rape on Coronation Street has helped this victim to seek the appropriate help and guidance needed.
“We never seek to highlight an issue – just tell the best story for every character. When we do touch on issues, we obviously strive to make sure our research is flawless and the depiction an accurate and truthful one.”