Barrister Paul Dockery of Manchester set 18 St John Street Chambers made a return appearance on Coronation Street last night, playing a court usher as Gail McIntyre was put on remand for murder.
Dockery has appeared on the soap several times, having advised its script writers for the past six years on all things legal, from court-room dialogue to prison sentencing.
“Once a storyline is conceived they’ll come to me and ask for the potential defences and what sentences should be given if someone is convicted,” said Dockery.
And a perk of being the show’s legal adviser is that he gets to appear as an extra. The first time he appeared on the soap he sat between character Cilla Battersby and Norris Cole in the court gallery then in a later appearance he told Gail that her son must face trial for pushing her down the stairs. Last night he watched the same character being put on remand for the murder of her husband, Joe McIntyre.
When Tracy Barlow was jailed for bludgeoning her boyfriend Charlie Stubbs to death, Dockery advised on her sentencing - she was given a life sentence.
He also advised on the legal aspects connected with Tony Gordon’s crime spree and has spent recent months giving tips on the trial of Gail, which will appear on screens in July.
“Everybody wants to know whether Gail gets convicted,” said Dockery. “Even judges in the Magistrates Court have asked me that question - but I can’t say.”
By day Dockery is a criminal barrister involved with serious crime cases involving drugs and money laundering.
He spends weekends on set in court.
“It’s great fun,” he says. “By and large it’s all my area of work and it’s not too difficult.”