Casualty's Donna Jackson exit explained

donna jackson, casualty
Casualty - Has Donna Jackson left the show?BBC

Casualty spoilers follow.

Casualty aired a shocking cliffhanger in the second part of tonight's double episode (September 16), as Donna Jackson learned her fate.

Donna was sentenced to 12 months in prison – six in custody – for falling asleep at the wheel and causing a car accident that left Ashley's mum with life-changing injuries.

Digital Spy can confirm that this is the last we will be seeing of Donna for now.

Jaye Jacobs, who plays Donna, filmed her final scenes in the role earlier in the year, but the door has very much been left open for the character to return in the future.

donna jackson, casualty

Tonight's second episode followed Donna on one of the most challenging days of her life.

After arriving home following another night of passion with Max, Donna struggled to concentrate, knowing her sentencing was looming.

She then clashed with her daughter Mia, who wanted to know what was going to happen to her and her sister if Donna did go to prison.

mia, donna jackson, casualty

Donna did her best to be positive, while simultaneously trying not to make promises that she couldn't keep.

Ashley opened up to Donna about his fears, explaining that he didn't know how he was going to look after himself and his mum's ongoing needs.

Donna's apologies didn't cut it with Ashley and she was asked, for the second time that day, what the future will hold if she goes to prison.

maggie, mia, donna jackson, casualty

Realising that Ashley was facing the same struggle as her own daughters, Donna headed home, where she apologised to Mia for everything.

At court, Donna was given reason to be optimistic when she learned that the judge had a good reputation, and an affinity with the NHS.

Sure enough, things got off to a good start when a nervous Ashley gave his statement, which explained just how much Donna has helped him.

donna jackson, casualty

Unfortunately, this didn't carry favour with the judge, who eventually sentenced Donna to 12 months – half in prison, half on licence.

Donna then faced an emotional farewell with Mia, before being led away to prison in cuffs.

donna jackson, casualty

Discussing Donna's challenging story, Jaye said to Inside Soap: "I struggled with it, because Donna has always been straight up.

"Although I put it down to the fact that she was extremely tired, and she thought she was going to get screwed over by other people in the accident, so it was a defensive thing.

"It seemed like a good thing to do in the moment, but it was a web she couldn't then un-weave."

donna, casualty

Addressing the audience's reaction to Donna's web of lies, Jaye added: "They were quite shocked, they are like, "What is she doing?".

"But people like to see characters in a scrape, don't they? So they seem to have quite enjoyed it."

Following tonight's episodes, Casualty will now be taking a short break from screens, but will be back later in the autumn.

Casualty airs on Saturday nights on BBC One.

Read more Casualty spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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