Corrie fans praise Mary as she fights child groomer Nathan

Viewers have been given fresh hope that Coronation Street’s Bethany Platt will be rescued from the clutches of sexual predator Nathan Curtis after Mary Taylor confronted the “sick” 39 year old during the latest development in the soap’s hard-hitting grooming plot.

Jude Appleton as Mary Taylor in Coronation Street last night (ITV)

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Bethany was attempting to flee Weatherfield with Nathan – who was secretly planning to sell her to sex traffickers in Belgium – when Mary intervened.

In emotional scenes that aired last night, Mary visits Bethany after she suspects the 16-year-old is running away. She then recalls her own experience of abuse to the schoolgirl in such a way that she could have been describing Bethany’s plight.

Speaking about a man who exploited and raped her, she said: “The truth is he was an opportunist and what he saw wasn’t someone that he loved or even liked very much. It was someone who didn’t think much of herself and could be manipulated. There was no love Bethany. It was rape.”

Lucy Fallon as Bethany Platt in Coronation Street last night (ITV)

But Bethany rushes past Mary crying and jumps into Nathan’s car, as Mary snarls at him: “You do not get to bully me. Men like you make me sick. She is a precious human being and not your play thing.”

“Believe me it’s not a game. She’s mine and what I do to her is up to me. Now leave us alone or you’ll be very, very sorry,” he replies.

Though creepy Nathan didn’t back down, the scene gave us fresh hope that Bethany will be saved in time before she’s lost in Europe, and viewers flocked to Twitter to praise Mary and the soap for including such a “brave” storyline. Could she be Bethany’s Liam Neeson?

Chris Harper, who plays Nathan, agrees that ‘Coronation Street’ has played a “small part in a big movement” to stop sexual predators.

He told OK! magazine: “We wanted to show it’s worth victims telling people. It was also important to show that victims can be so manipulated, they don’t even realise they’re being abused.

“It is nasty – sexual abuse is a horrific, life-changing crime – but perpetrators succeed because of people’s shame and fear. It thrives in secrecy. ‘Corrie’ is a small part in a big movement to stop these predators getting away with their crimes.”

Coronation Street airs tonight on ITV at 7.30pm and 8.30pm


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