EastEnders' Bobby Beale has been 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 Ben 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.
-- BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) June 16, 2016
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.
Everyone was happy Bobby finally got punished - some through sheer exasperation.
-- Elliot Gonzalez (@elliot_gonzalez) June 16, 2016
-- Matthew Chapman (@Matt528chap) June 16, 2016
Finally Bobby got done for murder-it's finally over, Thank the Lord #eastenders
-- Ellie McPhail (@ellie_mcphail1) June 16, 2016
-- Mark W. (@miw3663) June 16, 2016
I am so tired of Bobby getting away with everything. Justice has finally been served #EastEnders
-- Bri (@bridgetasamoah_) June 16, 2016
Although many thought his three year sentence was too light.
Can't believe Bobby only got 3 years for a murder & an attempted murder! Really??????? #eastenders
-- PopTvFilm (@PopTvFilm) June 16, 2016
Bobby got 3 years for murder are you kidding me I know it's not real but soaps just make life look like a joke #eastenders
-- ?It§ All Aböut Mè? (@Franny_TheWife) June 16, 2016
Bobby only got 3 years for killing off half of the square I think Ian and Jane should count their blessings he's been locked up! #eastenders
-- Rachel Dutson (@racheldutson) June 16, 2016
Bobby got three years, and Ian isn't charged with perverting the course of justice. Hardly justice for taking a life! #EastEnders
-- Hannah Dexter (@hannahforest) June 16, 2016
Not everyone understood how prison sentences worked, confusing concurrently - at the same time - and consecutively - one after the other.
Confused - I thought Bobby got 4 years (3 for Lucy and 1 for Jane)? #eastenders
-- Sophie McSophface (@humbug83) June 16, 2016
Everyone need hearing aids? Pretty sure Bobby got 4 years ?? #eastenders
-- Jamie (@Jamie_Holder93) June 16, 2016
-- Viki Marden (@Undoubtably_Me) June 16, 2016
But there were some great predictions for Bobby three years from now.
Bobby Beale got 4 yrs!! Scenes when he comes back to the square in 2020 as the new nick cotton #Eastenders
-- Sandy (@Sandylirious) June 16, 2016
Bobby will come out of prison a changed person...probably because he'll be recast. #EastEnders
-- Cameron Yarde Jnr (@CameronYardeJnr) June 16, 2016