Em­merdale and Hol­lyoaks

TV Times - - My Tv Week -

il­ver-tongued Pierce Har­ris can talk his way out of vir­tu­ally any­thing… but does that in­clude a rape con­vic­tion?

This week, he’s on trial for at­tack­ing Rhona on their wed­ding day, but while she’s des­per­ate to see him pun­ished, she isn’t con­fi­dent that jus­tice will be served.

As the trau­ma­tised vet leans on Paddy, her es­tranged hus­band has Martha for sup­port. But things soon turn sour be­tween mother and son. Pierce blames her for his ‘predica­ment’ and turns vi­o­lent.

‘He thinks she was a ter­ri­ble drunk­ard and that she ran off with other men,’ re­veals Jonathan Wrather, who plays Pierce. ‘But it’s just not true – he has skewed ev­ery­thing in his mind.’

Rhona’s re­lieved when she finds out that the dreaded sex tape won’t be used as ev­i­dence, and then feels re­as­sured when her ques­tion­ing by the pros­e­cu­tion goes well.

But, un­der cross-ex­am­i­na­tion by the de­fence, she is torn apart.

‘The de­fence lawyer an­ni­hi­lates her,’ re­veals ac­tress Zoe Henry, who plays Rhona. ‘It soon be­comes quite clear that she is los­ing it.’

Pierce then gives an Os­car­win­ning per­for­mance as the ‘wrongly ac­cused’ hus­band, and just when it looks like things can’t get any worse, Mar­lon and Vanessa take the wit­ness stand.

‘The de­fence team raises the sub­ject of how Mar­lon’s now ex, Carly, used to go jog­ging with Pierce,’ ex­plains Zoe. ‘The lawyer asks him why he let his girl­friend go run­ning in the woods with a man he thought was over­bear­ing. And when Vanessa’s in the dock, she says that Pierce told her he raped Rhona, which he didn’t. So that un­der­mines the whole case.’

Away from the court­room, Rhona catches sight of her evil ex. She fol­lows him into a side room and urges him to con­fess. ‘At that point, she be­lieves he is go­ing to get off,’ says Zoe, ‘and she thinks, “I just want him to say he did it. If that is all I am go­ing to get from this aw­ful ex­pe­ri­ence, then I’ll take it.” ’

Pierce fi­nally cracks and ac­knowl­edges his crime to her

– but can he bring him­self to do the same in front of judge and jury?

It’s judg­ment day for the twisted so­lic­i­tor – will he get away with rap­ing Rhona, or will he do the right thing?

Crime and pun­ish­ment: Pierce is in the dock at last

On the stand: Vanessa lies un­der oath Un­der fire: Rhona is cross-ex­am­ined

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