Brian Roscoe was a husband and father of two who sought assistance from Councillor Deirdre Barlow to get his family re-housed. Originally housed in Murray Street, the Roscoes had been struggling with money and in October 1988 the council had placed them in a seedy tower block, Turner House. A month later, Brian was made redundant, putting further strain on the family.
Brian proved to be a handful for Deirdre. An emotionally fragile man, he was constantly angry and bitter, and shouted at the slightest provocation. Once Deirdre agreed to see what she could do for him, he harassed her with phone calls and kept turning up at 1 Coronation Street. As he'd had a hard time, Deirdre was patient with him and made arrangements to see the housing manager despite the Roscoes not being a priority as they had only recently been relocated. Brian told Deirdre that living in the "coffin in the sky" Turner House was causing him to row with his wife Angie every five minutes, and making him a bag of nerves at job interviews.
Brian was eager to know the result of Deirdre's meeting with the housing manager and turned up at No.1 while she and Ken were out. Tracy let the man wait in the house for Deirdre, however Ken returned home first and threw Brian out. Finding Deirdre in later in the evening, Brian was disappointed and angry to learn that his family definitely wouldn't be re-housed until the new year. Losing his rag, Brian bawled at Deirdre for not doing enough for him and stormed out of the house.
On Christmas Eve, Brian was having a drink (one being all he could afford) in the Rovers Return, where he overheard Alec Gilroy leaning on his staff to work Christmas Day. Jumping at the chance for work, Brian immediately offered to do the shift, however Alec refused as he didn't know him. As was becoming a habit, Brian again sounded off about his lousy lot in life and walked out.
Later that evening, Brian was surprised to receive a visit from Deirdre at his flat. Fearing they wouldn't have much to open the next morning, Deirdre brought with her Christmas presents for his daughters. At first, Brian told Deirdre that his wife and children were out but then admitted that Angie had left him and taken his girls with her, having had enough of living in squalor. Finding Brian wallowing in misery, a sympathetic Deirdre sat with him for a while, but when she made to leave, Brian parked his chair in front of the living room door, with no intention of moving. His actions panicked Deirdre, who feared he was going to assault or rape her, but she put on a show of strength, offering to overlook it if he let her go immediately. As the night wore on and Brian showed no signs of budging, Deirdre lost her nerve and began sobbing, but when Brian continued to sulk and complain about his misfortunes, Deirdre became angry and told him she was sick of him whinging and blaming everybody else, and if he'd fallen on hard times then it was hard luck. Her outburst giving her extra determination, Deirdre dared him to kill her and grabbed his television. This caused Brian to move away from the door, giving Deirdre her chance to flee. Dropping the TV, she made a dash for it and managed to get out of the flat.
Although he did not pursue Deirdre, her escape made Brian more desperate. He later turned up at his in-laws' house, where Angie was seeking refuge, and attacked his father-in-law while trying to get to Angie. He was subsequently taken into police custody, facing charges of abduction and assault.