|“||I'm a good officer! I went the extra mile on the case, and I'm being hung out to dry for it!.||„|
|~ Sergeant Neil Clifton on the verge of defending himself at his own trial for his involvement in the rape of Bethany Platt.|
Neil Clifton is a fictional character and recurring antagonist of the British Soap Opera Coronation Street. He appeared as a supporting antagonist in 2017 and a minor antagonist in 2018, thus serving the secondary antagonist in Bethany Platt's grooming storyline.
He is a corrupt policeman who was affiliated with Bethany's romantic "lover" Nathan Curtis and his abusive sex ring. Whilst his involvement in Bethany's rape ordeal scenario, Neil became the mentor of Bethany's close friend Craig Tinker in the police force and proceed to monitor the latter's investigation on Nathan's sex ring. Eventually, after Craig discovered his involvement in Nathan's scheme, Neil was taken to custody and found guilty of raping Bethany. He is revealed to be the father of Kayla Westbrook, who initially had been scheming against Bethany in revenge for her father's imprisonment until she eventually learned the truth as well.
He is portrayed by Ben Cartwright.
Neil first appeared when he invited himself to a party hosted by Nathan and attended by Bethany herself. During the party, he paid good money and became impatient after Nathan kept delaying the date in which Neil could be with Bethany. Nathan knew that he had to be careful, as to not attract any attention to his schemes, and so pretended that Neil had a part to play in the business at Supreme Tanning, and that it was his money that paid for all of Bethany's vlogging equipment.
Nathan warned Bethany that she should be kind and polite to him, especially after a number of electronic goods supposedly belonging to Neil were stolen from the flat (unbeknownst to Bethany they were stolen by Mike a friend of Nathan's in a ruse to set her and Neil up). Suggesting that Bethany make up the loss to Neil by going to dinner with him, Nathan later watched on and did nothing as things escalated later on in the night and Neil took Bethany away from Nathan's party to silently rape her in the bedroom.
By the time Nathan's scheme was finally exposed, Nathan was consequently arrested whilst Neil blackmails Bethany into keeping his name out of the ordeal. She reluctantly complies after he threatens her family and fellow friend Craig Tinkers, whom Neil is mentoring as his protégé within the police department.
Eventually, Craig manages to find out about Neil's involvement with Nathan's sex ring upon finding out the truth from Bethany at last. With Bethany's and subsequently Neil's confession when he once again confronts Craig for his continuing interference, Craig uses both evidences to report Neil to the police - thereby leading Neil into being caught at last. A few months later, Neil reappears when Craig testifies against him and Nathan during their trial for raping Bethany. Neil then takes the stand and makes an effort to justify his actions, though this only escalates his guilt as it doesn't appear to alter or faze the jury. Later on, Nathan's false yet desperate methods to swing the vote in his favor ends miserably as his lies slip up - thus ensuring that the possibilities of Neil being found "not guilty" are at a lost cause. Case in point, Neil is indeed convicted right after Nathan and his friend Ian Yardley, along with their other accomplices, are all found guilty of raping Bethany.
In March 2018, Neil began to appeal his conviction. His daughter Kayla began working on the street in order to prove her dad's innocence and get revenge on Bethany and Craig for putting them away, believing that the former made up the claim. A badly beaten Neil was visited in prison by his daughter in June that year during the run up to the retrial, and tried to convince her to go to university, although she was determined to prove his "innocence". Neil chose not to reveal the truth to Kayla, and instead claimed that Bethany was the liar.
Neil's plans to be acquitted fell through and he faced the fact he had to remain in prison. He was badly beaten up once again, which put him back in hospital.
Back on the street, Kayla had began dating Craig in order to get close to him, and continued scheming against Bethany, trying to turn Craig against her as well, although he refused as he knew what Neil was like.
When Bethany found out that Kayla was Neil's daughter, Kayla kidnapped Bethany and bound and gagged her in her garage. Kayla went to the hospital where Craig was waiting for an appointment for his OCD, and revealed the truth about her relation to Neil, which shocked him. When he refused to hear the "truth", Kayla returned to the house to try and force the truth out of Bethany. Craig came to Bethany's rescue and revealed a recording he made of Neil's confession the previous year, which shocked Kayla to the core as she realized her father wasn't innocent as he claimed. Because of all she had been through, Bethany and Craig chose not to go to the police.
Shortly after the incident, Bethany accompanied Kayla to the hospital and witnessed the latter reveal to Neil that she knew the truth about him. Kayla called her father an "evil monster" when he tried to deny her claims, which results in her attacking him before the police restrain her. Kayla thereupon disowned Neil from her life before reconciling with Bethany, leaving him in tears. Since then, Neil hasn't been mentioned and it turns out that he is sent back to prison after his appeal has been rejected.
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