Emmerdale fans are convinced Maya will return with a BIG surprise next year

Jacob with Maya in Emmerdale

Maya Stepney was finally sent to prison this week, but many viewers don’t believe the story is over…

Teacher Maya was sentenced to 12 months in prison for sending explicit messages to her teenage stepson Jacob this week. But because Jacob, who was underage when Maya began grooming him, refused to report the relationship as abusive, her sentence wasn’t as harsh as it might have been.

And many viewers don’t think justice has been done.

‘So, I’m to assume this isn’t the end for the Maya story line, as @emmerdale said it would get the true justice it deserves!??’ one demanded on Twitter.

Several others pointed out that while Maya had been sentenced to a year in jail, she could be out in half that time for good behaviour.

‘I’m sorry but Maya got 12 months and will do 6 of that sentence,’ one viewer tweeted. ‘I’m happy that she got her justice but it isn’t long enough!!’

Now, soap fans are predicting that Maya will return to the village when she's released from prison in six months time – and that she could be bringing a little surprise along with her…

Maya trial verdict is finally given as she awaits in the dock in Emmerdale

‘Good plot line ready 4 NEXT YEAR when she’s out???’ wrote one. ‘Maya has a baby. Who IS Father????’

‘Maya will be out in time for the Christmas special to announce she’s pregnant,’ another suggested. ‘Just as Jacob and his dad reconcile.’

Others hoped they’d seen the last of the manipulative schoolteacher. ‘Bye, bye Maya Bye, bye…’ one viewer tweeted. ‘Hope ya get some counselling and finally understand the damage you caused.’

So will she be back? Actress Louisa Clein, who has played Maya since March 2018, seemed to suggest not when she shared several snaps from her Corrie leaving party to her Instagram account.

'This job was beyond my wildest dreams and the people I met and will hold on to, my angels,’ she wrote. ‘Thank you to every single person who has been there through this journey.’

Still, we wouldn’t put anything past Maya Stepney…

Emmerdale continues on ITV.