Now that newspapers can no longer rely on phone hacking to deliver stories they have to find alternative ways of filling the pages of their rags. Today the never knowingly under-frenzied Daily Mail have decided to dedicate a page to Steve Doughty's opinion that Corrie bosses have 'blood on their hands' over the Daniel Bartram murder case. It's an accusation which is as incorrect as it is outrageous.
Daniel Bartram (so that we're all aware) was this week convicted of the murder of his mother, who he killed with a claw hammer. It's obviously a horrible thing to have happened and (unlike the Mail's salacious coverage) we'll try not to go into too much hysterical detail. Seemingly, detectives investigating the case found TV recordings of various killings in Bartram's home, one of which was the John Stape/ Charlotte Hoyle killing featured in Corrie a couple of years ago. This featured a hammer.
Seizing onto this, Doughty contends that the producers of Corrie are to blame for implanting violent impulses into Bartram's obviously disturbed brain and that they should consider themselves accountable.
It's a ridiculous and insulting standpoint. In recent times, we at Corrie Blog have been as critical as anyone with regard to the increasingly sensational plotlines the soap has featured. There are undoubtedly too many crimes and killings played out in what has always been a family programme. BUT claiming that Bartram was possessed to kill because he watched Corrie is utter nonsense. Bartram's poor mother was killed with a hammer and then he poured petrol over her and set light to her body. None of that happened in Corrie. There were many other, much more violent recordings discovered at Bartram's home - things like Saw 3, which he apparently watched immediately before carrying out the killing. Most tellingly of all, relatives of Bartram testified that he had told of violent fantasies and plans to kill for many years before the murder.
Undoubtedly, TV and film may have had some influence on Bartram's murderous method but they cannot be blamed for his innate impulses to kill. Judges, juries, solicitors and psychiatrists are the people who should be passing judgement of the mental state of Bartram and on the underlying causes for his actions, Daily Mail hacks desperate for stories should keep well out of it.