Coronation Street bosses apologise for Bethany Platt sex gang case court blunder

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CORONATION Street bosses have apologised for a courtroom blunder saw Bethany Platt being sketched while giving evidence.

As Bethany Platt gave evidence of the rapes she suffered at the hands of groomer Nathan Curtis and his sordid sex gang, an artist was seen sketching her – something that would never happen in a court case like this.

 Bethany faced off against Nathan and her other rapists in court

Bethany faced off against Nathan and her other rapists in court

Eagle-eyed fans spotted the anomaly and took to Twitter to pointed out that as a victim of sexual assault, Bethany would have automatic anonymity about being identified in any way.

“Erm why would a court artist be sketching Bethany?” asked one viewer, adding: “She’s automatically entitled to anonymity.”

Another tweeted the show to say: “@itvcorrie Court artists are forbidden by law to draw in court, only allowed to take notes and Bethany’s ID is protected.”

The 1925 criminal justice acts allows court artists to only take notes and draw their impressions from memory outside.

 She finished the sketch as Bethany continued to give evidence

She finished the sketch as Bethany continued to give evidence

The soap is facing an Ofcom probe after fans complained to the regulator over the scenes and the show has now apologised.

A spokeswoman said: “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.”

 Bethany cried in the witness box as she relived her ordeal

Bethany cried in the witness box as she relived her ordeal

Despite the blunder, Bethany’s bravery in facing down her rapists had viewers in tears.

The schoolgirl – who is played by actress Lucy Fallon in the ITV soap – fought back her fears to stand against the men who groomed and brutalised her to give evidence in court, and soap fans were overcome with emotion at the scenes.

Coronation Street’s Bethany Platt bravely faces down rapist Nathan Curtis in court
 Nathan watched and tried to manipulate Bethany from the dock

Nathan watched and tried to manipulate Bethany from the dock

Bravely refusing to give evidence behind a screen so she could stare her rapists in the eyes, Bethany relived the horror they put her through after Mel delivered her to court.

Taking on the three barristers for Nathan, Neil and Ian, Bethany stood against them and told the truth.

Reliving the horror of when Neil first raped her she said: “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.”

“Nathan went mad and dragged me outside,” she said of when he assaulted her adding: “He burned my arm with a cigarette.”

“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.”

Coronation Street’s Mel Maguire takes Bethany Platt to court after Nathan’s victim Lara kills herself
 She struggled when the defence barristers claimed it was consensual

She struggled when the defence barristers claimed it was consensual

“I couldn’t, Neil was a policeman. He told me if I said anything then he’d do something bad to my family – he’d been in my house.”

She added: “They thought they could do whatever they wanted to us, that we would be too scared to do anything but they were wrong.

“Now I know exactly what they are – pathetic sick cowards and I’m not frightened of them anymore.”

Viewers flocked to social media to praise the show and Lucy Fallon’s performance in the tough scenes.

“Bethany is breaking my heart,” wrote one adding: “She’s so brave and has so much courage. We are all so proud of her.”

 Her rapists all stared vacantly at Bethany as she told of what they did to her

Her rapists all stared vacantly at Bethany as she told of what they did to her
Coronation Street’s Bethany Platt is sexually assaulted by multiple men in shock scene
 Beth's mum Sarah was devastated at her daughter's ordeal

Beth’s mum Sarah was devastated at her daughter’s ordeal

Another added: “Bethany is so amazing for facing Nathan and Neil in court.”

A third tweeted: “Yes Bethany go on girl @LucyFallon it has been tough storyline to watch but the way you’ve acted it throughout I applaud you. Justice has to be served now.”

“What a fantastic piece of acting by @lucyfallon tonight,” added another.

Craig praises Bethany for her bravery on Coronation Street

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