Coronation Street – did Beth Sutherland slap Hope Stape?
Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street aired an ambiguous new storyline on Wednesday night (February 1) as Hope Stape made an accusation of violence against Beth Sutherland.
The pair are currently at the centre of an unlikely feud after the unexpected death of Hope's pet chinchilla Cilla last week.
For several days, viewers have been consistently updated on the storyline, but Corrie's latest episode seemed designed to keep them guessing, as Beth came under suspicion of attacking a minor.
Is Beth guilty? Well, here's what we know so far.
Last week, Cilla the chinchilla met an untimely end just days after Hope brought her home from the pet shop. Cilla died while Beth's pet dog Peanut was at Fiz and Tyrone's house, leading to speculation that the canine's presence could have frightened the chinchilla to death.
Having grown attached to Cilla since picking her out at the store, Hope was determined to exact her revenge against poor Peanut.
In a dark plan, Hope used David Platt's stuffed weasel Vin Diesel to deliberately injure herself, then falsely claimed that Peanut had bitten her at Victoria Garden.
Hope enjoyed the subsequent drama as Fiz called the police to report Peanut as a potentially dangerous dog. But the scheming schoolgirl realised she might have gone too far when she learned that the innocent pooch may have to be put to sleep.
Wednesday's Corrie episode saw the truth exposed as Tyrone caught Hope behaving suspiciously with Vin Diesel the stuffed weasel. A quick comparison between the weasel's teeth and Hope's bite marks confirmed that she'd been lying about Peanut.
A sheepish Fiz broke the news to Beth that Peanut was innocent and that she'd already set the record straight with the police.
Despite Fiz's apologies, Beth couldn't resist confronting Hope in person when they crossed paths on the street.
After ranting about Peanut's near-miss, Beth started to walk away. However, she was stopped in her tracks when Hope admitted: "I am sorry, but you should be apologising to me, too. My Cilla's dead. Your stupid little dog's still alive."
Beth's face looked thunderous before the scene cut away.
When Hope was next seen, she was in tears as she returned home and told her parents: "It's Beth. She just slapped me in the street. She slapped my face."
Hope rushed to Tyrone for comfort, while Fiz looked flabbergasted.
Later, Fiz and Tyrone called Beth and Kirk over for a chat about Hope's latest accusation.
Beth claimed that she "did no such thing" and fired back by mentioning Hope's history of past wrongdoings, including starting fires and hiding her cousin Joseph in the attic.
Although Tyrone pointed out that Hope didn't seem to be lying this time, he and Fiz also noted that Beth seemed genuinely shocked by the accusation.
By the end of the evening, Fiz and Tyrone tried talking to Hope again, asking for every detail of what had happened.
The couple pointed out the seriousness of the situation, with Tyrone saying: "If Beth did do this, me and your mum have just lost our best mates because this isn't something you just forget about."
Fiz added: "And we'd have to go to the police and everything."
Hope realised that her parents appeared to disbelieve her story, so she stormed off rather than recount her own version of events again.
While the episode left fans to wonder what had really happened, Digital Spy understands that the truth will be revealed during Friday's episode (February 3), so there's not too long to wait for answers.
Corrie's producer Iain MacLeod first discussed this storyline at the start of the year, naming Hope as one to watch in 2023.
MacLeod told Digital Spy and other press: "[Fiz and Tyrone will] face some difficulty parenting Hope going forward. Without giving too much away, Hope's troubled behaviour ends up in a fairly acrimonious feud with an adult neighbour that involves a chinchilla.
"Hope's behaviour will become increasingly difficult over the course of the year, but there's also extremely light-hearted bits."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
Read more Coronation Street spoilers on our dedicated homepage
Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 (www.nspcc.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline on (1-800-422-4453) or the American SPCC (www.americanspcc.org).
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