Eagle-eyed – or should that be LEGAL-eyed – Corrie fans rushed to Twitter on Monday night to point out a massive court blunder during the climax of Bethany Platt’s chilling sex-grooming storyline.
The troubled teen managed to escape from Mel Maguire’s clutches – and even convince her that Nathan Curtis doesn’t care about her and is just using her, like he did Bethany.
After a tense showdown on some train tracks with Mel, Bethany finally made it to court, to give evidence at Nathan’s trial, alongside his twisted accomplice, Neil Clifton.
But as Bethany retold her terrifying ordeal at the hands of the child abusers, fans spotted a courtroom artist sketching the blonde teen, as she gave evidence.
This is something that would never happen in real life because all victims of sex crimes are given lifelong anonymity, meaning that it’s actually illegal to name them or picture them, unless they choose to speak out about their ordeal.
Corrie fans flocked to Twitter to point out the faux pas.
One viewer asked: “Erm why would a court artist be sketching Bethany? She’s automatically entitled to anonymity.”
Another added: “Why on Earth is there a courtroom sketch artist drawing Bethany during a sex abuse trial when she has lifelong anonymity?”
A third wondered: “Whoops @itvcorrie court artists don’t sketch IN court and they certainly don’t draw victims of alleged sex abuse like Bethany.”
The 1925 criminal justice acts allows court artists to only take notes and draw their impressions from memory outside.
But, luckily, the gaffe didn’t stop fans being moved to tears by Bethany’s bravery in the court room.
After being delivered at the courts by Mel, Bethany told her barrister that she didn’t want to give her evidence from behind a screen, but wanted to look her rapists in the eye.
Bethany – played by Lucy Fallon – told the court about her ordeal with police officer, Neil: “I kept thinking there’s no way Nathan’s going to let this happen – any minute he’s going to burst through the door and make it stop. But he never did, he just left me there.”
She added: “Nathan kept telling me it turned him on seeing me with other men. I thought there was going to only be one man in there but there wasn’t – there were three of them.
“I tried to tell them that there was a mistake and I’d gone in the wrong room but they didn’t listen and Mel just shut the door.”
Fans praised Lucy for her performance, posting messages of support on Twitter.
And Lucy used the micro blogging site to thank everyone for all their kind words and to say she hoped Bethany’s bravery would encourage other victims to come forward.
Coronation Street has now come out holding its hands up.
A spokeswoman said Tuesday: “In last night’s episode we showed a court artist at work sketching Bethany during her trial. We accept this wasn’t a true representation of court procedure and we apologise for including it.
“The artist was solely used to illustrate the passing of time and we devoted multiple scenes to the fact that Bethany’s anonymity is a priority for the court.
“We repeatedly focused on details regarding screens and video links, and support for victims throughout the court process, which we hope would encourage anyone watching to recognise the fact they would be in a safe place when giving evidence.”
Can’t really say fairer than that, especially given all the good work this storyline is doing!