EastEnders: Max is found GUILTY of killing Lucy – and then ESCAPES from custody!

Tonight's episode saw Max panic and go on the run rather than face a prison sentence

Well, the verdict is in: Max Branning has been found guilty after a majority of jurors decided that he had killed Lucy Beale.

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Despite Phil paying off the foreman to ensure that Max got released, the ruling still didn’t go the defendant’s way in scenes just broadcast during tonight’s EastEnders.

Not that Max was in the mood to find out what sentence he’d be getting. No sooner had the words “guilty” been spoken than he’d vaulted the dock, punched DS Cameron Bryant in the face and escaped from custody!

An EastEnders insider said to RadioTimes.com of the shock turn of events: “Max just isn’t thinking and finds himself on the run. It really doesn’t do him any favours and even those who did believe him are going to question his innocence.

“Everyone in the Square is so shocked by what’s happened, especially Jane who finds herself massively torn. It’s an explosive week!”

During the trial, viewers saw Jane lie under oath when – in a bid to give the accused an alibi – she said that she’d been spent the night with Max.

Now, with Ian back in town to overhear the decision in court, Jane is bound to be left with a lot of explaining to do. Will the residents of Albert Square be left wondering why Jane put her neck on the line? Is Ian to return home only to find that new suspicion is hanging over the Beales? 

And what of the fate of poor Max? “He’s just cracked. He isn’t thinking about the consequences or how it could affect things,” says actor Jake Wood.

And how would he react should he discover that Ian’s son Bobby is actually the true killer of Lucy? “He’d be shocked. He be relieved though because it would mean he’d get off the hook. If he found out he’d just go straight to the police and tell them the truth.”

You can visit our dedicated EastEnders page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.

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Watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes below