EastEnders' Bobby Beale sentenced to three years after admitting murder
EastEnders' Bobby Beale was sentenced to three years in youth detention after pleading guilty to murdering his sister and attacking his stepmother.
It had been in doubt whether the 12-year-old, played by Eliot Carrington, would be detained or finish his sentence at home for the two serious crimes, something which father Ian was conflicted about.
In tense scenes, Ian (Adam Woodyatt) , adopted brother Steven Beale (Aaron Sidwell) and uncle Ben Mitchell ( Harry Reid) watched as Bobby paused before telling the court: "I'm guilty."
The judge said: "I have read and considered the report prepared by the youth offending team which sets out the alternative to a custodial sentence. But I am not bound to follow that recommendation.
"I've made my decision on the basis your crimes were violent, aggressive and displayed a worrying pattern of behaviour.
"Therefore I will impose a custodial sentence of three years for the unlawful killing of Miss Lucy Katherine Beale and one year for the grievous bodily harm with intent of Mrs Lesley Jane Beale. These sentences to run concurrently."
Ian made a heartfelt outburst as Bobby was dragged away, shouting: "No, stop. You can't do this, you can't take my son away. I should have done something when I found out what he did."
He told Mitchell outside: " I wanted this to happen, I did this."
In an overwhelmed state, he even admitted to Detective Inspector Keeble that he had known that Bobby killed Lucy since his wedding day, but she confirmed she will not pursue charges of obstruction of justice against him.
Ian then went to wife Jane's (Laurie Brett) bedside in hospital to tell her the news, where the dramatic episode brought another shock.
"This was everything I was trying to avoid. This day. Bobby in prison. This is what I imagined when I walked in and saw Lucy," she admitted.
Ian replied: "I love you for trying to protect Bobby. And whatever happens at least he knows he's loved. He knows that his mum and dad would have gone to the ends of the earth to try and keep him safe. I just want to move on from this. I need it to be over."
He continued: "I don't know how we're going to do it though. But I'm still here and so are you. It's got to mean something, hasn't it?"
Jane, who had been paralysed following the attack, squeezed her husband's hand, much to the surprise of both of them, indicating there may be a road to recovery ahead for her.
:: EastEnders continues on BBC One on Friday at 8pm.