EastEnders" Ronnie Branning enjoys last gasp of freedom as she is sent down for kidnap

EastEnders" Ronnie Branning enjoys last gasp of freedom as she is sent down for kidnap

I hereby sentence you to… EastEnders” Ronnie Branning enjoys last gasp of freedom as she is sent down for kidnap

1:36 PM on 24th May 2011

It”s the been the controversial soap storyline that dominated headlines and got everyone talking.

But after five months, thousands of complaints, a resignation and many a tear shed, the EastEnders baby swap storyline is finally coming to a close.

Because in scenes to be shown next month, Ronnie Branning is finally sent to prison for kidnapping baby Tommy Moon.

Time to face the music: EastEnders

Time to face the music: EastEnders” Ronnie Branning, played by Samantha Womack, clasps her hands together as she prepares to go to court on charges of kidnap

And fans of the show were today treated to a sneak peak of troubled Ronnie, played by Samantha Womack, as she arrives at court to hear her fate.

Ronnie is seen arriving with husband Jack, played by Scott Maslen, but cuts a solitary figure as she walks up the steps to the court alone.

She then clasps her hands together in prayer before walking through the doors, knowing she will not be walking back out again.

Last gasp of freedom: Ronnie takes one last look around as she heads into the court

Last gasp of freedom: Ronnie takes one last look around as she heads into the court

The storyline which has caused so much controversy kicked off on New Year”s Eve when a distraught Ronnie found her newborn son James dead in his cot.

She swapped him for Kat and Alfie Moon”s newborn son Tommy and kept his identity secret until last month when Ronnie revealed the truth to husband Jack and Tommy was reunited with his real parents.

Sticking by her: Ronnie arrives at court with husband Jack, played by Scott Maslen

Sticking by her: Ronnie arrives at court with husband Jack, played by Scott Maslen

Scenes last week showed Ronnie face Kat”s wrath after she was released on bail on the day of Tommy”s christening.

Havingbeen kicked out of the flat by husband Jack, Ronnie will get her husband back on side this week when she kisses him and he vows to stick by her.

The court scenes also pave the way for 38-year-old Samantha”s exit from the soap after four years playing Ronnie.

Another chance: In scenes to be shown this week, Jack and Ronnie kiss after he vows to stand by her

Another chance: In scenes to be shown this week, Jack and Ronnie kiss after he vows to stand by her

The storyline prompted outrage from critics, who said Ronnie”s action could be wrongly interpreted as common for a grieving mother of a baby who has died from cot death.

More than 6,000 complained about the storyline bur EastEnders boss Bryan Kirkwood defended the plot, insisting viewers were warned about the plot before it was aired.

Hesaid: “We took care to ensure viewers were aware of the content in advance. We also provided action line numbers at the end of the show.”

Devastated: Ronnie snatches baby Tommy while leaving Kat Moon buries James thinking itDevastated: Ronnie snatches baby Tommy while leaving Kat Moon buries James thinking it

Devastated: Ronnie snatches baby Tommy while leaving Kat Moon buries James thinking it”s her son