Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) has pleaded not guilty in court thanks to a last-minute intervention from half-brother Cain (Jeff Hordley).
Belle, who has been charged with the murder, told the district judge that she never meant to hurt school friend Gemma before offering up a not guilty plea. Her change of heart came after Cain drove her to the cliff edge from where Zak intended to jump last year and warned that her dad would end up dead should she continue trying to be a hero.
“Are you a murderer?” asked Cain, referring not to what happened to Gemma on the night she hit her head, but to Zak, who’s mental health has become increasingly fragile in the run-up to Belle’s court appearance.
Following a last-minute dash, Belle arrived at the courtroom with only seconds to spare, where her plea infuriated bereaved dad Dom (Wil Johnson) who insisted that the matter was not over. Back in the village, Sean (Luke Roskell) confessed his love for Belle and vowed to do whatever he could to prevent her from going to prison.
Speaking to RadioTimes.com about what lies ahead, an Emmerdale spokesperson tonight commented: “Belle’s change of heart to plead not guilty allows the Dingles to temporarily breathe a sigh of relief. But the story is a long way from over.
"With her family and friends all vowing to do whatever they can to prevent her from going to prison, just what lengths are they prepared to go to? Will it be brainy Belle that musters up the most elaborate plans to avoid getting sent down?”
Emmerdale continues on Friday at 7pm on ITV as Belle puts a scheme to get pregnant into action in order to avoid jail time. But will Sean go along with her demands?