Soaps

Coronation Street fans compare Hope and Bernie storyline to infamous Shannon Matthews case

Bernie kept quiet about what really happened to Joseph

Coronation Street fans have spotted striking similarities between Hope and Bernie‘s storyline and the real-life case of Shannon Matthews.

Eight-year-old Shannon went missing in 2008. It was later discovered her mother, Karen Matthews, had masterminded the whole thing. It was suggested she had wanted to pocket the reward money.

As the fallout from Joseph’s disappearance rages on in Coronation Street, viewers are sure the soap must have based the storyline on Shannon’s case.

Hope hid Joseph in her attic (Credit: ITV)

Why did Joseph go missing in Coronation Street?

Chesney and Gemma found out Joseph was being bullied at school. Although Joseph asked his dad not to talk to the teachers, Chesney did and upset Joseph ran away.

His cousin Hope hid him in Fiz’s attic, with Fiz unaware he was up there. Meanwhile Dev set up a reward fund for anyone who could bring Joseph home safely.

Just as Joseph planned to go home, however, he ran into Bernie’s friend, Clint, in the ginnel.

Clint wanted to claim the reward money, which added up to over £30k. He gave Joseph and Hope £100 each so he could take Joseph home and say he found him.

Later Bernie found out what Clint had done and he offered her half the money to keep quiet.

Coronation street Wed 26 Jan Bernie denies having anything to do with Joseph's disappearance, but Evelyn calls the police
Hope blamed Joseph’s disappearance on Bernie (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Coronation Street: Chesney to lose custody of Joseph as Katy’s mother returns?

Bernie accepted, knowing Gemma and Chesney were struggling financially.

However in last night’s episode (Wednesday, January 27), Evelyn became suspicious that Bernie suddenly had money.

Soon Hope confessed that Joseph had been hiding in the attic. But she lied saying it was Bernie’s idea so she could claim the reward money.

Bernie insisted she only found out where Joseph had been after he returned home. However, she was taken for questioning by police.

Coronation Street fans compare Hope and Bernie storyline to infamous Shannon Matthews case

Fans are now comparing Joseph’s storyline to the real-life case of Shannon Matthews.

Some are even concerned Gemma and Chesney will get wrongly accused of being involved.

What happened to Shannon Matthews?

In February 2008 nine-year-old Shannon Matthews ‘disappeared’ outside Westmoor Junior School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire.

Her mother Karen Matthews reported her missing on February 19 2008.

The Sun offered a reward of £20,000 asking for anyone with information to come forward.

This was later raised to £50,000.

Karen’s behaviour raised suspicions as the investigation went on.

Karen was sent to prison after she plotted her own daughter’s kidnapping (Credit: BBC/Shannon Matthews: The Mother of all Lies)

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Shannon was found after 24 days. On March 14 2008, police officers searched the home of Michael Donovan after a tip off from his neighbours.

Shannon was discovered hidden in the base of a divan bed.

Michael had tied her up and drugged her with sedatives to keep her quiet and stop her escaping.

It was then revealed Michael was the uncle of Karen Matthews’ boyfriend Craig Meehan.

Michael, who was born Paul Drake, had learning difficulties, with an IQ of around just half the national average.

He was arrested at the scene and Karen was arrested on April 8 2008.

After it was revealed Karen had been working with Michael, they were both charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and perverting the course of justice.

Subsequently they both served four years in jail for plotting the scheme – seemingly purely for money and fame.

Coronation Street Fri 28 Jan Bernie promises Paul everything she did was meant with the best intentions
Will Bernie win her family round? (Credit: ITV)

What happens next to Bernie?

Later this week, Bernie is still trying to convince everyone she meant well.

She talks to son Paul and insists her act was done with the best of intentions to help the family.

But will anyone see it like that?

Does Bernie have a future on the Street?

Want more spoilers from Coronation Street? Entertainment Daily has a dedicated Coronation Street spoilers section for you to get your fix before the latest episodes air.

Coronation Street usually airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm and 8.30pm on ITV.

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