Aidan Critchley was Ken Barlow's "pupil from hell" at Weatherfield Comprehensive school. In 2002, Aidan started going out with Sarah Platt. He took her for a joyride in Ken's car and left her for dead after crashing the vehicle. Weeks of goading then came to a head when Ken punched Aidan in the classroom, causing Ken to be suspended from his job.
Later, when Aidan was framed for the murder of Maxine Peacock by Richard Hillman, Ken and Sarah were the only ones who believed in him. After being exonerated by Richard's confession, Aidan returned to his schooling.
Aidan was a cocky and obnoxious classmate of Sarah Platt at Weatherfield High. Despite her mother Gail's best efforts, he and Sarah began dating. He persuaded Sarah to go for a joyride in teacher Ken Barlow's car, which he ended up overturning after clipping the kerb. Sarah was badly injured and rather than stay to help her, Aidan fled the scene, leaving her for dead. Sarah spent several days in a coma but ultimately survived the ordeal after emergency surgery.
Soon afterwards in class, Aidan goaded Ken to the point where Ken lost his temper and struck him, breaking his nose. Aidan filed a complaint for assault, which led to Ken being suspended from his job. In the aftermath of the crash, Aidan was thrown out by his father and began squatting in Sally Webster's old shop. Sarah found out and began secretly visiting him and bringing him food.
As part of his own machinations to solve his financial woes and also to take revenge on Aidan for his treatment of Sarah, Richard Hillman, Sarah's stepfather, decided to murder Emily Bishop and frame Aidan for the crime. On the night of 13th January 2003, Richard drugged Aidan with tranquillisers, stole his clothes and broke into the Peacocks' home. But things went awry and Richard ended up killing Maxine, who walked in during the assault, while Emily survived. Nevertheless, when police found the murder weapon and stolen items in Aidan's possession, he became the chief suspect and was arrested.
As Aidan was underage, he was told he had to have an adult present while being questioned. Surprisingly, he reached out to Ken Barlow for help. Ken agreed to help him and became convinced that Aidan really was innocent, having seen him under the influence of the tranquillisers on the night of the murder, and realised he was in no condition to harm anyone. He and Sarah were virtually alone in believing Aidan's innocence. Aidan was sent to a Young Offenders' Unit while awaiting trial. Ken persuaded Aidan's father Bob to visit him there, but even he thought Aidan was guilty. Aidan angrily told Ken not to visit him again.
Aidan contacted Sarah from the Remand Centre, asking her to visit him. She finally agreed and he informed her that the police had found that the vodka he was drinking on the night of Maxine's death had been spiked with Diazapam, meaning he could not have committed the murder. Days later he was finally proven innocent after Richard confessed to his crimes. After his release, he told Sarah he had changed and was going to sixth-form to complete his education. He also asked her out again, but she told him that too much had passed between them and that she was now with Todd Grimshaw. He left the area and hasn't been heard from since.
He formerly lived at 12 Scarborough Gardens.
First and last lines
"Ooh Miss!" (First line, to Charlie Ramsden)
"Are yer?" (Final line, to Sarah Platt)