Coronation Street’s evil Nathan Curtis has finally been convicted of rape as the soap’s dramatic trial came to an end.
This year’s major storyline saw him groom a number of girls, including Bethany Platt, before forcing them to have sex with his friends during a series of sordid “parties”.
He was arrested after Bethany reported his actions, but the last few months have seen him try to make her life even more difficult by using whatever means possible to prevent her from giving evidence in court.
But despite his lies in the witness box, the jury in Wednesday night’s second episode of the ITV soap found him guilty of both rape and conspiracy to commit rape.
His partner-in-crime, police officer Neil Clifton, was also convicted of rape.
Nathan (Chris Harper) looked stunned with the outcome, while Bethany (Lucy Fallon) calmly left the room before bursting into tears in the arms of her mother.
Harper, who has campaigned with a number of support services for victims of sexual abuse throughout the year, posted a video of himself popping champagne as the verdict was announced.
Fallon simply tweeted: “Thank you.”
Viewers were equally thrilled, with Victoria Bell commenting: “About time too! Glad to see the right result for a change! #justiceforbethany”
Another added: “Yes. Justice has been done. Lock him up. #corrie.”
Praising the show’s writers for creating the dark storyline, Louise McAllister commented: “This has been the most harrowing SL Corrie has ever told but thank u for telling it the right way & ensuring justice was served in the end.”
Another even said: “Omg I was near on drawing blood from biting my bottom lip then. Fantastic news. Such a strong story line.Which will help bring awareness.”
Now an official ambassador for children’s charity Barnardo’s, Harper said: “Since joining the cast of Coronation Street I’ve had the privilege of helping to shed light on the hidden crimes of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
“Working on Corrie’s grooming storyline has helped bring these issues into the public consciousness, something that organisations like Barnardo’s have been working tirelessly to do for decades.
“Sadly, Bethany’s story is not pure fiction; children and young people all over the country go through this kind of abuse and exploitation every day.
“That’s why I’m delighted to announce that I’ve joined Barnardo’s as a celebrity ambassador.
“Even after my character Nathan is locked up I’ll be doing my bit to help Barnardo’s support vulnerable children who have been sexually abused.”
The organisation’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Chris has proven to be a very important ally in our fight against sexual abuse and exploitation of children and I’m thrilled to welcome him to Barnardo’s as our new celebrity ambassador.”