Coronation Street spoilers follow.
Coronation Street airs Justin Rutherford's trial for Ryan Connor's acid attack early next month, but a surprising betrayal could sway the case in the villain's favour.
Upcoming episodes see Justin's sister Karen make a return trip to the Rovers Return, where she once again expresses sympathy for Daisy Midgeley's recent ordeal.
When Ryan sees Daisy talking to Karen, he questions her loyalties and sparks a row. Raking over the past, Ryan bitterly reminds Daisy of how she sabotaged his relationship with Alya Nazir in 2021.
Later, Ryan is horrified when Karen admits that she has passed all of this information onto Justin's defence lawyer, hoping that it will benefit him in court. Ryan is left with doubts over whether to give evidence at the trial at all.
Here, Ryan Prescott – who plays Ryan – shares details of the drama in store.
How is Ryan feeling ahead of Justin's court case?
"Ryan had assumed that Justin would plead guilty to being the person behind the acid attack, particularly because he pleaded guilty to all his other abusive behaviour against Daisy.
"Ryan thought that Justin would accept what he has done and face justice, but Justin recently did the opposite and pleaded not guilty, so that came as a real shock to Ryan and he took it very personally because he took the major blows of the acid and it has changed his life forever."
Ryan is still coming to terms with his injuries and going back into public places. As the trial gets closer, does this add an extra element of pain for Ryan?
"Yes, Ryan even says to Daisy that he doesn't know how he is going to hold it together. He seems to have gone through so much, so fast, so it's a series of blows that has pushed him to the edge.
"Ryan is really nervous because he hasn't really been in front of anyone else, apart from his auntie Carla and Daisy. He has still been very solitary, so even coming out of the house is a big deal to him.
"Standing in front of a court full of people, and seeing Justin again, feels like he is digging it all up and re-facing the whole thing all over again.
"He feels completely unprepared for this and he would rather bury his head in the sand and look away, but he knows that Daisy is relying on him. And there is a strange kind of connection between the two of them at the moment."
Can you tell us about the scenes where Ryan sees Daisy talking to Justin's sister Karen?
"Ryan sees Karen in the pub and when it seems to him that Daisy is alright with her, he's confused. He feels betrayed that Daisy would have any kind of rapport with someone that is so directly attached to Justin.
"At the end of the day, Justin has done terrible things to Daisy, but he's not done anything to the scale of what he has done to Ryan, so he feels deceived and blind aggression towards Daisy.
"He doesn't blame Daisy for the acid attack but it has happened because of her and so, because she is attached to his trauma in that way, he ends up lashing out at her."
Karen overhears Ryan talking about how Daisy destroyed his relationship with Alya, and she passes this information onto Justin's defence team. When Ryan finds out, why does he decide to skip the trial altogether?
"After everything that has happened, the court case is the final straw that breaks the camel's back. But Ryan is willing to push himself through it, until he finds out that Karen has used what he has said about Daisy against them both.
"He said what he said in spite and due to having a little bit of animosity towards Daisy. Obviously Karen is there to witness this and so now, not only is Ryan feeling scared and out of control, he now feels like a fool."
Does Ryan feel guilty that this might affect the trial?
"I don't think guilty is the right word – he feels foolish. He doesn't feel like he has much to prove at this point, because he has been through so much and he is very aware that people understand that.
"But at the same time, he doesn't want to trudge through the past and he doesn't want to relive the experience again, especially in front of people. However, he is willing to because, despite the little tiff that he's had with Daisy, he appreciates all that she has done for him and they do have a relationship.
"Although it isn't a romantic relationship, Daisy is one of the only people that Ryan feels close to, so he is willing to go the distance for her and go to court, but what happens with Karen pushes him over the edge."
Is this Ryan's breaking point?
"Yes, Ryan feels overwhelmed and it has just become too much for him. But it's not just one thing, it's the layering of the events that have taken place before this.
"Before this, he has been back in hospital with sepsis and he has confessed his undying love for Crystal and she is not getting back to him, so there are so many areas of his life that are just not working."
Is Ryan aware of the repercussions if he does not attend court? What ultimately changes his mind?
"Yes, he knows there is a chance Justin might walk and actually, he feels like there might be a chance of that anyway now that this new information has come to light for Justin, because it gives Justin's barrister something to run with.
"Ryan is afraid to be there for that because he just can't take another hit. He is ready to bury his head in the sand and everyone is telling him that he has to go to court, but he's at the point where he's happy to shut himself off. Ultimately it's Ryan's relationship with Daisy that changes his mind."
What were the court scenes like to film?
"It was roasting hot! But it was good because it's Ryan's first spout of courage and bravery. Ryan's always had this happy-go-lucky outlook on life and lately we've seen that drowned by the things that have happened to him.
"But when he goes to court, it's like a little bit of that has come back. He probably doesn't realise how much of a big step he has taken yet, but it may be something that he realises in the aftermath of the trial."
How does Ryan feel coming face to face with Justin again?
"It's a shock to the system but he faces him immediately. He doesn't look away and he stares him down, because he is not afraid of Justin but he is afraid of his own situation. He holds so much anger and resentment towards Justin that he has been waiting for this moment to look him in the face."
When you read the scripts from the scenes where Ryan takes the stand, what were your thoughts?
"I really loved the scripts because you see and feel Ryan struggling from the get-go. We had such a short time to learn those scripts, but I knew I really wanted to put a bit of time into Ryan's deposition because the language was just right for a northern lad who is just trying to stumble through what he could remember from an acid attack."
The barrister accuses Ryan of being in love with Daisy and plotting the attack. How does Ryan react?
"Ryan feels like he has ruined things. He loses his temper but he's passionate about what has happened to him because it's his life – everything about his life has changed because of this.
"When the barrister insinuates that he is in love with Daisy, there is an element of truth to that and Ryan knows that he does have feelings for Daisy but he's not even sure what those feelings are.
"He knows that she is marrying Daniel and he knows that he doesn't have a chance. He doesn't think that she would ever be interested in someone like him because of his facial scars, but he has feelings there for her.
"He feels like he has a connection with her, and not only does he feel like he has made a fool out of himself in front of the whole court, he feels like he has let Daisy down."
Do you think a relationship between Daisy and Ryan would be a good idea?
"In a weird way, I think any relationship for Ryan would be a good idea because he is so isolated right now. After his traumatic experience, Ryan's natural instinct has been to reach out and grab the relationships around him to try and ground himself.
"He's done that with Alya and taken on the heartbreak of that, he's tried to do the same with Crystal and now she's not replying, so he just feels so alone.
"He definitely has a thing for Daisy but his confidence is so low and the reality is that he respects Daniel and he thinks that he is a great guy so he just wouldn't want to get entwined into that in the wrong way. He doesn't want to be anyone's enemy, he's just looking for someone to care about him."
How would Ryan react if he knew Daisy was pretending to be Crystal?
"The thing is, Ryan has had such an intimate back and forth over the past month or so with 'Crystal' that he is genuinely starting to believe that in a different world, in a different time, or somewhere down the line, that there might be something there with her because they have developed an actual relationship.
"There has been a lot of natural chemistry between them and Ryan is finding joy in investing in their relationship. So to find out that it's been Daisy the whole time would make him feel humiliated because he has been very raw and 'himself' with this person.
"He would feel so deceived because it's such a huge lie to play for such a long time, so he would feel like he was a toy and that he's a game to Daisy. He would feel an explosion of contempt for Daisy because he feels like he has lost Crystal and Daisy in one fell swoop."
What can you tease about how the outcome of the trial will affect Ryan going forward?
"Ryan believes that Justin getting sent down would be the next step in his closure, definitely. It has to happen for him to move forward and if it doesn't happen then I am not sure where that leaves him. It's going to set him back a long way because he would be left in turmoil over the situation and the injustice of it all.
"Ryan needs Justin to face justice before he can even face the reality of the aftermath. For Ryan, everything is riding on this trial."
Coronation Street airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.
Coronation Street has been working on Ryan's storyline with guidance from The Katie Piper Foundation and Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI), which both offer help and support to real-life survivors.
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