Coronation Street’s grooming storyline concluded tonight as Nathan and Bethany found out whether he will pay for his odious behaviour.
“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.” – Actor Chris Harper
Nathan Curtis was convicted of sexually exploiting Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon) in scenes just aired on ITV, meanwhile in real life, Chris Harper who played the vile character has announced that he is Barnado’s new celebrity ambassador.
The Coronation Street storyline – which has been described as uncomfortable viewing – has seen teenager Bethany groomed and sexually exploited by experienced groomer Nathan, who coerced her into having sex with other men and attempted to traffic her to Belgium. In tonight’s (4th October) episodes, Nathan was finally brought to trial for his crimes where justice was served despite his best efforts to wriggle his way off the hook.
Bethany wept with relief as the jury delivered their verdict and Nathan and his depraved friends were found guilty of rape.
Chris has been described by Barnado’s as a ‘great campaigner’ who has helped bring the issue of child sexual exploitation to the fore through his role in the long running ITV Granada produced serial. Through his ambassador role he will carry on supporting work to battle against child sexual abuse and exploitation, even after Nathan is sent down and no longer seen on ITV screens.
“Chris’s work on Coronation Street has been invaluable in highlighting the hidden crimes of child sexual exploitation and abuse. He has helped to show the nation how master manipulators like his character Nathan Curtis work their way into the lives of children and young people to groom them for sex. 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.” – Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan
While the storyline has been met with much praise a gaff earlier this week left Corrie a little red faced. Ofcom is currently looking into a number of complaints regarding the court room scenes in Monday night’s Coronation Street which have been described as ‘inaccurate’.
The complaints centre on Bethany’s right to anonymity being breached when as she gave evidence against Nathan, an artist was seen sketching her. The error didn’t go unnoticed with fans taking to Twitter to criticise the saga over its mistake.
“Whoops @itvcorrie – courtroom artists don’t sketch IN court and they certainly don’t draw victims of alleged sex abuse like #Bethany,” one viewer noted. Another tweeted: “@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 Act dictates that artists are only permitted to draw their impressions from memory after note-taking during court room proceedings.
Manchester Evening News reports that Ofcom is looking into the matter.
“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. – Coronation Street