As the trial of Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) approaches in Emmerdale, tensions are high – and nobody is feeling the pressure as much as Manpreet (Rebecca Sarker), as the whole prosecution case rests on her shoulders.
Rebecca Sarker has given Metro.co.uk an insight into how Manpreet is feeling as she faces her sister in court. ‘Nothing can quite prepare her for what happens,’ she reveals. ‘She’s no stranger to Meena’s machinations, but it’s still extremely upsetting and emotional for her. That is her little sister standing just a few feet away from her, so maybe not so much conflicting emotions, but just very, very triggering and overwhelming.’
Before Manpreet takes the stand, Liam (Jonny McPherson) gives his evidence and Meena’s defence tear him to pieces. Rebecca says this is the last thing Manpreet needs before she gives her evidence.
‘She hears about his car crash of a testimony second hand and it does nothing to steady her own shredded nerves, I suppose,’ she says. ‘In a way it confirms the fact that the defence is capable of dismantling a witness and Manpreet is probably feeling even more pressured than she’s already feeling having decided to take the stand, because obviously if Liam’s testimony has crashed that means they’re going to rely even more heavily on Manpreet’s, on her own testimony, which is a source of great anxiety.’
Despite this, Manpreet is determined to do the best she can, but is very soon overwhelmed, as Rebecca reveals:
‘Manpreet answers the prosecutors questions with confidence and a steely poise, at first,’ she says. ‘Then when she’s asked to relive her ordeal, she breaks down. The trauma of it overtakes her and overwhelms her. She does gather herself and she manages to do what she set out to do, which is to expose Meena for what she really is to the jury. I think she’s quite pleased with herself for doing that having broken down but then coming back with a vengeance.’
Despite this, Manpreet is soon in trouble again. ‘The defence, as expected, uses Manpreet’s past to put her suitability as a witness in doubt,’ Rebecca says. ‘She really struggles under the glare of the spotlight and she buckles, let’s just say, under the weight of expectation. It’s not a car crash but it doesn’t go as well as she would have hoped.
‘To be so publicly exposed in court is a triggering experience for her.’
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